As reported in the Times of India on the 6th October, two Eurofighter Typhoons from the Austrian Bundesheer were asked to escort the Indian President’s aircraft – Air India One – as it entered national air space on Tuesday. The jets carried out this task as part of their air surveillance role, guaranteeing the safe arrival of the president as she landed in the country to deliver a series of key note speeches.
As soon as the aircraft entered Austrian air space from Switzerland, two Typhoons appeared on the left-hand side of President Pratibha Patil’s plane according to the report.
“Those inside the presidential aircraft started shooting the jets in frenzy. But, only with their mobile phones and cameras. The Eurofighter is one of the shortlisted contenders in the Indian MMRCA tender to purchase 126 “Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft”.
“After about two minutes, one of the jets suddenly pulled back and flew to the other side of the aircraft. Everyone was interested in getting the perfect shot of the plane which also opened its co-passenger shield as a mark of respect. The best view was just before landing as all three aircraft lost altitude and the jets were at arm’s length”.
The Austrian Bundesheer have a fleet of 15 Typhoon jets operating as an air surveillance wing from their home base in Zeltweg. The Wing, known as “Überwachungsgeschwader” has been active in recent air surveillance operations, putting the facilities and aircraft to the test.