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India to deploy Su-30 fighters in Kashmir

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NEW DELHI (BNS): The Indian Air Force is deploying its most modern Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters in strife-torn Kashmir, as the India puts in place several steps to beef up its security along both China and Pakistan borders.

The Srinagar airbase, where the frontline Russian fighters would be placed, is a crucial IAF base along India's frontline of defence. The base, along with others such as Leh, caters to India's security concerns both in terms of Pakistan and China.

A senior IAF officer told BNS that the deployment in Srinagar is "temporary" and for training purposes. However, he pointed out that the IAF constantly reviews the security scenarios and has been redeploying its fighters accordingly. For example, IAF has also deployed two of its future Su-30 MKI squadrons in Tezpur in the northeast.

The SU-30 MKI are under redeployment for the past few weeks ever since Lohegaon airport, in Pune, started repair works on its cracked runways. The three squadrons of SU-30s have been redeployed to Bareilly among other places.

Air Marshal PK Barbora, head of the Western Air Command that looks after the Kashmir border, was quoted as saying, "flexibility is the key to airpower and differentiates a leading-edge air force. The Su-30MKI deployment in Kashmir will enable combat pilots to adapt to changing circumstances and environments in a responsive manner."

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