The Indian Air Force successfully landed its Mirage 2000 on Yamuna Expressway near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday morning as part of a trial run to use national highways as road runways, in case a fighter aircraft needs to make emergency landing.
The combat jet landed on the highway at 6:40 am.
"The aircraft made a practice approach on the highway, coming down to a height of 100 metres before landing off the next approach. The operations were conducted with active support from the government of Uttar Pradesh, Yamuna Expressway Authority, toll authorities of JP Infratech and the civil police," read excerpts from the IAF statement, according to Hindustan Times.
The nearly 3-km-long stretch of Agra-Lucknow Expressway will become India's first road runway, where IAF's fighter jets will be able to make emergency landings during war, when airbases are crippled.
"The IAF has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future," the statement said.
As the runway needs to be straight, levelled, and without any slope, the section of the highway will be developed accordingly. Also, the part that will be used as road runway will have no electricity poles, masts, or mobile phone towers.
Other technical requirements will also be considered when the project will gain momentum. The project to build Agra-Lucknow Expressway through Firozabad, Shikohabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj, and Mohanlalganj is expected to cost ₹13,000 crore.
Other countries that already have road runways are China, Pakistan, Sweden, Germany, and Singapore.
Trial run for an Air Force aircraft landing carried out on Yamuna Expressway (UP) https://t.co/HlaL81i9NF
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 21, 2015