Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu), Jan 20 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday commissioned the 222 squadron, also known as ‘Tigersharks’, for their Thanjavur base. The squadron has six Sukhoi-30 specially modified fighter jets, each carrying 2.5 tonne air-launched supersonic BrahMos cruise missile.
“No 222 Squadron, the Tigersharks, were inducted at Air Force Station Thanjavur,” IAF said.
The squadron based in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu will keep a check on increase in Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean region. It will also augment Indian Navy’s strength and air strike capabilities of the military as a whole.
During the induction ceremony, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said the resurrection of Tigersharks highlighted the integration and jointness which is the future of the Indian armed forces.
He said that Su 30 MKI aircraft along with the BrahMos will be the game-changer which will extensively enhance the security of the maritime domain.
“The squadron will be operating closely with the Indian Army and Navy to get the ball rolling in jointness of the Indian armedf forces,” Rawat said.
The Su-30 has a range of 1,200 km, with addition of 300 km in range of the Brahmos. It can strike at locations deep inside the Indian Ocean region.
Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria said that it is a historic day for the Indian Air Force, Southern Air Command, Air Force Station Thanjavur and 222 Squadron.
The decision to choose Thanjavur as the base for the induction of the Su-30 MKI squadron was made because of its strategic location. Bhadauria complimented Southern Air Command and all personnel deployed at Thanjavur for their efforts towards advancing the induction of the squadron by almost a year.
The induction ceremony culminated with a flying display by Light Combat Aircraft, Sarang Helicopter Display Team and Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team.