The Indian Air Force on Thursday landed a fighter jet on an expressway for the first time to showcase its ability to use national highways as runways in case of conflict.
Test landing of a Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Indian Air force on the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi on Wednesday. India’s Ministry of Defence
The single-engine, single-seater combat plane is produced by Dassault Aviation SA of France. It can reach a top speed of 2,495 kilometers, or 1,550 miles an hour.
The jet took off from an undisclosed air base in central India. Facilities such as a makeshift air traffic control center, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties were set up in coordination with local agencies for its landing.
The air force has “plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
The Mirage-2000 strike aircraft is a critical part of India’s fighter jet fleet. Its flying qualities and maneuverability came into prominence during the bombing of Pakistani positions in the Himalayas during the Kargil war in 1999.
India’s air force fleet however comprises mainly Russian-origin aircraft such as the Sukhoi and MiG planes.