The President of India Droupadi Murmu took a historic sortie in a Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Tezpur Air Force Station in Assam on Saturday. The President, who is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, flew for approximately 30 minutes covering Brahmaputra and Tezpur valley with a view of Himalayas before returning to the Air Force Station.
The aircraft was flown by Group Captain Naveen Kumar, Commanding Officer of the 106 Squadron. The aircraft flew at a height of about two kilometers above sea level and at a speed of about 800 kilometers per hour. President Murmu is the third President and second woman President to undertake such a sortie.
Later in the visitor’s book, the President expressed her feelings by writing a brief note in which she said “It was an exhilarating experience for me to fly in the mighty Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. It is a matter of pride that India’s defence capabilities have expanded immensely to cover all the frontiers of land, air and sea. I congratulate the Indian Air Force and the entire team of Air Force Station Tezpur for organising this sortie.”
The President was also briefed on the operational capabilities of the aircraft and the Indian Air Force (IAF). She expressed satisfaction on the operational preparedness of the IAF.
The President’s sortie in the Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft is a part of her efforts to engage with the armed forces, as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. In March 2023, the President visited INS Vikrant and interacted with officers and sailors on board of the indigenously built aircraft.