An Indian Air Force Su-30 fighter plane is missing after it lost radio contact 60km north of Tezpur in Assam.
The Russia-made fighter jet, with two pilots on board, took off from Salonibari in the north-eastern state at 10.30am on Tuesday.
The IAF’s Sukhoi-30 fleet has been plagued by engine troubles and poor serviceability. India in March signed a pact with Russia for long-term supply of spares and technical assistance.
Sonitpur district Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Deka told reporters in Tezpur that the Air Force base had informed him that the Su-30 plane with two pilots had taken off from the airbase at 10.30 am for a regular sortie and lost contact with the IAF air traffic control over Dubia in nearby Gohpur.
The Air Force, after carrying out a search on its network, informed the deputy commissioner about the incident. The DC said he then immediately alerted the neighbouring district administrations about the missing plane.
A search is on for the aircraft, he added. The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made, twin-engine fighter meant for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. The first of the Su-30 planes were inducted by the IAF in the late 1990s.
Since their induction, seven rpt seven crashes have taken place. An inquiry into the plane accidents has primarily indicated technical failure as their cause. The last Sukhoi crash occurred on March 15 when a Su-30 MKI had crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer, hours after a Chetak helicopter crash landed and toppled in Kaushambi near Allahabad.
Seven Su-30 jets have crashed since 2009, including the one that went down in Rajasthan on March 15.