India loves peace but its armed forces are ready to face any situation: Kovind

Coimbatore: President Ram Nath Kovind today said though India is a nation that loves peace, its armed forces are ready to face any situation. This is being viewed as his warning to Pakistan in the wake of the recent tension between the two countries.

Kovind, who presented the coveted Presidential Colours to Air Force Station, Hakimpet, and 5 Base Repair Depot at the Air Force Station, Sulur, near here, hailed the country’s forces. He also appreciated the IAF personnel.

After presenting the colours, he witnessed a display by the Akash Ganga team, IAFs own daredevil paratroopers who performed stunts at 10,000 ft height and landing at  predetermined spots, besides a flypast by IAF aircraft, fighters,      transport and helicopters.

The parachute jumpers of the IAF also demonstrated a tricolour formation at the colours presentation ceremony.  The Sarang helicopter aerobatic team and Tejas and Air Warrior Drill also performed aerobatics and display to mark the occasion.

The Sulur Air Force Station was the IAF’s only airbase to accommodate and operate fighter, transport and helicopter
aircraft.

“Once the defence corridor, of which Coimbatore is an integral part, comes up, the Sulur Air Force station will gain  importance. Though aircraft are imported, their spares require maintenance that can then be bought from the Defence Park coming up here,” sources said.

They said 20 acres have been identified for DRDO for the project.

The Sulur air base, constructed by the Royal Navy in 1942, was first commissioned in 1942-43 during World War II and was placed under the then South East Asia Command.

The airfield was later taken over by IAF in 1956 as a care and maintenance unit. The depot has serviced 233 Avros and 77 Dornier aircraft till date and the numbers are growing.

As a recognition of its high standards, the depot has been earmarked to receive maintenance transfer of technology for notables and engine for the state-of-the-art Pilatus PC-7 trainer aircraft.

NT Bureau