IAF Sukhoi jet goes missing near Indo-China border

Guwahati: An Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30 fighter jet with two pilots on board went missing from near the Indo-China border in Assam on Tuesday morning. A search has been launched to trace the aircraft and pilots.

The Sukhoi took off from the IAF Tezpur air base, located only about 172 km from Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh, on a routine training mission.

“A Sukhoi-30 aircraft airborne from Tezpur today on a routine training mission lost radar and radio contact approximately 60 km from north of Tezpur town in Assam,” said Tezpur-based Defence PRO Lt. Col. Sombit Ghosh.

“The aircraft is over due and actions have been initiated,” he said.

According to a statement issued by the IAF, the jet was a part of a two-aircraft formation, and lost radar and radio contact with the controlling station at around 11.10 a.m.

Search and Rescue operations have been activated to locate the aircraft and the pilots.

“Help from civil administration and military authorities has also been sought for the search and rescue effort,” the statement said.

Official sources said the aircraft took off at 9.30 a.m. from Tezpur air base but lost radar and radio contact near Arunachal Pradesh’s Doulasang area, a border area adjoining China, 60 km north of Tezpur.

Tezpur is one of the three air bases of the IAF in the country that hosts the Sukhoi.

Last year one Sukhoi 30 MKI crashed near Nagaon town of Assam while on a routine sortie. While the two pilots ejected before crash, the crash led to splinter injuries to some locals in the area.