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IAF enhances capabilities of Halwara base near Indo-Pak border

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The IAF has enhanced capability of its frontline base in Punjab's Halwara, which is close to the Indo-Pak border, by deploying additional Sukhoi fighter jets.

The Su-30 MKI jets were inducted into the IAF's 'Valiant' squadron on April 24.

The deployment of additional Su-30 MKI jets at the airbase comes amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan.

It will boost the offensive capabilities of the IAF in this sector, the force said about the induction of the jets into the Valiant squadron.

The 'Valiant' was formed as an offensive fighter squadron in 1963 at Barrackpore in West Bengal.

The squadron was then equipped with three types of aircraft -- the Vampires, Spitfire, Hurricane and Su-7.

The squadron has changed many bases during its 54 years long journey and has taken part in the 1971 war as well as in Kargil operations.

"The 'Valiants', operating MiG-23s, were the first ones to fire weapons on the enemy during the Kargil war," the IAF said in a release.

Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command IAF was the chief guest for the induction ceremony.

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