21 Mei 2010
RMAF's Su-30MKM (photo : Militaryphotos)
Kuala Lumpur,-Malaysia’s decision to allow Indian Air Force to groom, train and equip its frontline Sukhoi pilots is a proof of the Southeast Asian country’s faith on New Delhi, a senior IAF officer has said.
“The fact that a foreign country is permitted to groom, train and equip your frontline pilots is by itself a testament of the confidence and faith they have in us. This is a strong demonstration of a high-level of friendship and diplomacy which is very commendable,” IAF’s chief flight instructor Gp Capt KVR Raju was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
Russia and India are committed to bolster Malaysia’s air defence and combat capability, so far as the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker squadron is concerned, Russia’s warranty team leader Vladimir Konnov and the IAF’s team chief Group Captain Raju has asserted.
Meanwhile, defence superpowers like China, Britain and France are reportedly providing supporting roles via various transfer-of-technology and offset deals to enhance Malaysia’s defence prowess, local news reports said. Raju is leading an Indian contingent of four instructor pilots, one weapons systems officer, two engineers, 22 technicians and two administrative servicemen.
The IAF pilots would be retained until August, while their colleagues would return after the completion of their two-year tour of duty in July.
The trilateral Russian-Indian-Malaysian collaboration was something unique as it provided a stepping stone for the country to groom its next generation of airmen, the IAF officer said. — PTI