For the Indian Air Force (IAF), the term "modernisation" is not restricted to mere acquisition of latest fighter planes and advanced warfare equipment, but to also prepare itself to handle emergency situations in a better way. It raised the bar for its highly skilled pilots by performing a landing on a national highway in western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
The air force successfully performed the landing of a Mirage-2000 on the Yamuna Expressway around 6.40 am. "It was the first trial to check whether the national highway is feasible for landing in case of any emergency. The team has successfully demonstrated its capability," an IAF official said.
"All facilities like makeshift Air Traffic Control, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties and other requirements were set up by the IAF personnel from Air Force Station Agra. Thereafter, in coordination with the District Magistrate and SP of Agra and Mathura, necessary tie-up was carried out for activation of the selected stretch," reads a statement released by the Defence Ministry.
"The aircraft made a practice approach on the highway, coming down to a height of 100 mtrs 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 Civil Police. The IAF has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future," ends statement.
The principal spokesperson for Ministry of Defence, Sitanshu Kar, posted some photographs on his official Twitter handle. The pictures feature a Mirage 2000 landing on Yamuna Expressway near Delhi. Click here to see the photos.
Besides unleashing around 12 photos on his Twitter handle, Sitanshu Kar also wrote, "Mirage 2000 lands on Yamuna Expressway. Sequence of Events leading to test landing of Mirage 2000 on Yamuna Expressway near Delhi."