NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman strapped herself into a G-suit today and became the second Indian woman leader to go on a sortie on a Sukhoi 30 fighter jet. The supersonic jet took off from Jodhpur Air Force station this morning.
Former President Pratibha Patil and former President Abdul Kalam had also flown on the fighter.
As India's first woman defence minister, Ms Sitharaman has spent a lot of time travelling to Army, Air Force and Navy bases to understand their operations. A few days ago, she was onboard the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in the Arabian sea to witness the operations of the MiG-29 fighter off the deck of the ship and other Naval exercises.
For her sortie, Ms Sitharaman wore a flight overall and a G-Suit, which ensures comfort when the jet takes tight turns. She also wore a helmet with an oxygen mask.
The Sukhoi-30 MKI has nuclear strike capability and can penetrate deep in enemy territory.
The twin-jet fighter was developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force.