The Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter jet, Sukhoi-30, has been cleared for flying after being grounded for nearly a month.
The Sukhoi-30 fleet will be back in the air “within a week’s time,” Chief of Air Staff Arup Raha said on Friday.
The entire fleet of about 200 Su-30s had been grounded following a Sukhoi crash in Pune on October 14. “The Sukhoi-30 fleet has been cleared for flying,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander S.S. Birdi said on Friday.
On the reasons behind the Pune crash, IAF Chief Arup Raha told reporters, “This accident appeared to be due to automatic firing of the seats. The Court of Inquiry is about to be completed and the findings are being finalized.”
A team of 10 Russian experts joined the Indian experts in probing the cause of the crash in which the fighter jet crash landed on its belly around 20 km from the runway, while the pilots ejected safely.
This was the third and also the longest period the Sukhoi fleet was grounded since its first crash in 2009.
Su-30s are the most modern of the IAF’s fighter jets and represent almost a third of its fighter fleet.