In­duc­tion of SU-30 MKI to the Valiants

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENTS -

On April 24, the Su-30 MKI air­craft was in­ducted into 221 Squadron, Valiants, of the In­dian Air Force (IAF). Air Mar­shal C. Hari Ku­mar, Air Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief, West­ern Air Com­mand IAF was the chief guest. The Valiants which flew Mig-23 air­craft till 2009, is now equipped with the for­mi­da­ble Su-30 MKI air­craft. The Su-30 MKI is a state of the art all weather multi role fighter air­craft ca­pa­ble of un­der­tak­ing var­ied air com­bat and ground at­tack mis­sions.

The Valiants were formed as an of­fen­sive fighter squadron on Fe­bru­ary 14, 1963, at Bar­rack­pore with Sqn Ldr N. Cha­trath as the first Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer. The Squadron was then equipped with three types of air­craft namely the Vam­pires, Spit­fire, Hur­ri­cane and Su-7 air­craft. The squadron has changed many bases dur­ing its 44-four years long jour­ney and has taken part in 1971 War and Kargil op­er­a­tions. Su-7 air­craft of the Valiants roared over East Pak­istan in sup­port of the In­dian Army’s blitzkrieg ad­vance in 1971. The Valiants, op­er­at­ing the MiG-23s, were the first ones to fire weapons on the en­emy dur­ing the Kargil War. Many of the squadron pi­lots have been dec­o­rated with gal­lantry awards over the years.

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