In a demonstration of its long-range anti-ship capabilities, Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30 MKIs fighter jets conducted an eight-hour long simulated strike mission over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
This comes just a week after the IAF's Rafales completed another six-hour long simulated strike mission in the IOR.
The Rafales were simulating a long-range strike, where the fighters fought through a large number of enemy aircrafts and successfully delivered their payloads on targets.
The IAF has then tweeted, "Four IAF Rafales flew a long range mission for over six hours into the IOR. The aircraft “fought” their way through a large force engagement en route to their Weapon Release Point.... Pickle on time, weapon on target-the IAF way!"
The Sukhoi's were supported by IL-78 MKI refuellers, which refuelled the jets in mid-air.
The IAF tweeted, "Another outing into the Indian Ocean Region! This time, with IAF Su-30s flying nearly eight hours, on a different axis. Both Seaboards covered".
According to the IAF both seaboards of the IOR, the Arabian Sea on the Western seaboard, and the Bay of Bengal on the Eastern seaboard was covered by the fighters.
The IAF operates about 40 Sukhoi-30 MKIs that can carry 'BrahMos-A' supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. Each Sukhoi can carry one BrahMos-A missile.
In January 2020, the IAF inducted its first 'BrahMos-A' equipped squadron '222 Tiger sharks' at Thanjavur Air base in Tamil Nadu.
However, according to a statment by the IAF Chief ACM V R Chaudhari released just a week ago (on 31 May), IAF has equipped almost all squadrons of fighter jets with BrahMos modified aircrafts.
He said, "Today, we have BrahMos-modified aircraft in almost all squadrons across the IAF."
This simulated long-range strike missions will demonstrate Sukhoi's ability to carry BrahMos-A missile and strike Chinese warships at long-ranges.
In addition to the ongoing almost four-year-long border standoff between Indian and Chinese PLA soldiers along the entire Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Chinese have also been increasingly assertive in the IOR and South China Sea (SCS) regions.
The Chinese currently operate a naval base in Djibouti, and rumors suggest they are constructing another naval base at Riem in Cambodia within the Gulf of Thailand.
In the event of hostilities between India and China, these Sukhoi-30 aircraft armed with the BrahMos-A missile would prove to be a formidable combination against Chinese warships.
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