New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is all set to raise four more squadrons of Su-30 MKI fighter in the near future as it prepares to induct the tenth unit of the aircraft in Punjab along the Pakistan border.
Codenamed 'Flying Lancers', the process to set up the new Number-15 squadron will be initiated in December and will be fully operational by middle of the next year, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said.
"By the end of this year, in December, and early next year, we will be inducting a new Su-30 squadron, based in Punjab. That will be the tenth squadron of Su-30 and the process will continue for at least six months from January to June," he said.
Addressing a press conference before the 80th anniversary of the IAF, Mr Browne said the force will deploy more Sukhoi squadrons in Eastern and Southern sectors.
"We are raising three-four more squadrons of Sukhoi. Two extra squadrons are being raised in Eastern Sector. So far we have raised two squadrons there and two more are in process," he said, replying to a query on deployment of the fighter aircraft in the northeast.
On IAF's future plans to induct Su-30MKIs in the force, he said, "One more squadron will be based in Punjab and one will be in Southern Command in Thanjavur. Therefore, we will have 13-14 total squadrons of Sukhoi to add to our strength."
On development of infrastructure in the northeast, Mr Browne said the force is focusing there in terms of infrastructure, radars and air defence systems. It will also deploy the Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) there after its induction in the force, he said.
IAF is also planning to induct additional C-130J transport aircraft, which will be based at Panagarh in northeast.