Prior to the flight, the pilot appraised the Minister in the cockpit about the Sukhoi's operating systems. Ms Sitharaman is the country's first woman Defense Minister to fly into a combat aircraft. This flight of the Defense Minister is part of the plan for reviewing the military operation preparations and combat capability of the three forces.
Since assuming office as the country's first full Defense Minister, Ms Sitharaman has been taking stock of the preparations and the needs of the three forces. Earlier last week, she had inspected Naval operation practice near Goa for two days to get information about the strength and potential of the Navy. During that period, she stayed in the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya at night.Sukhoi-30 MKI is a two-seater Frontline fighter aircraft of the Air Force and was inducted into the force around 15 years ago. (UNI)