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IAF gets first indigenous Sukhoi

Source: PTI
November 28, 2004 16:48 IST
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Marking a new chapter in its history, the Indian Air Force gotĀ its first indigenously built multi-role fighter aircraft Sukhoi 30MKI fighter craft on Sunday.

Built by HAL with Russian technology, the frontline twin-seater was rolled at the Ozar airbase in Nashik.

Addressing the ceremony at the sprawling air force base, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India's defence policy is based on a very basic foundation and the country does not have any territorial ambition.

"We don't have any territorial ambition. We don't want to play the role of aggressor. But that does not mean we should not be careful about our defence requirements.

"We are equally determined not to allow anyone to annex even a small portion of our land," Mukherjee said.

On troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, Mukherjee said "it was not merely meant to convey some message because of the visit from a neighbouring country (Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz) but to recognise the fact that due to the
efforts of armed forces we were able to reduce the rate of infiltration."

On cross-border terrorism, he said, "We lost more lives, including civilians, than we lost in four wars that we fought with Pakistan. We cannot keep our eyes shut to these developments."

He said the international community would have to recognise in "clear and unmistakable" terms that terrorism has no geographical boundary.

Any attempt to recognise and support terror will come in the way of peace and amity in the post-Cold War era, Mukherjee added.

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