The Indian air force has suffered its first loss of a Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighter, with one of its aircraft having crashed in Rajasthan state on 30 April.

The fighter's two-man crew ejected around 70km (130nm) south-east of Jaisalmer at around 10:30 local time during a routine training sortie, the air force says. "Wg Cdr S V Munje survived the crash, [but] Wg Cdr P S Nara succumbed to his injuries," it adds.

India signed an almost $1.5 billion contract with Russia in 1996 for an initial batch of Su-30MKIs, and later brokered an agreement for state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics to licence-produce another 140.

 Su-30MKI - Baron Inchcape
© Baron Inchcape gallery on

The air force says a court of inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident, but has not grounded its remaining Su-30MKIs, the first of which entered use around 12 years ago.

Source: Flight International