NEW DELHI: A frontline Sukhoi-30MKI fighter crashed on Tuesday in Maharashtra’s Nashik after developing a technical snag. The two pilots from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), who were flight-testing the jet, managed to eject safely.
The twin-engine fighter, which had taken off from the HAL facility in Nashik after an overhaul, crashed in a field near Shirasgaon.The pilots, Wing Commanders Shirish Bokil and Laganjeet Biswal, who reported the technical snag before ejecting, suffered minor injuries and are being treated at the HAL hospital. “The exact reason for the crash will only be known after detailed investigation,” an official said.
Sukhois are the mainstay of the IAF’s combat fleet, having inducted 272 of them from Russia for over $12 billion, with the bulk of them being “licenced produced” by HAL over the years. Over a dozen Sukhois have been lost in crashes till now, while the fleet has also faced engine problems as well as poor availability and management of spares. The IAF has now ordered 12 new Sukhois, which will be built by HAL to replace the ones that have crashed, and associated equipment for around Rs 11,500 crore.

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