BANGALORE: Behind the precision attacks on ground and off-shore targets by the famed air warriors was the comfort of nappies.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots of the lethal fighter aircraft like the Sukhoi 30 MKI and the Mirage 2000 who showed their skills in the recently concluded ‘Dakshin Prahar’ air defence between February 18 and February 24, wore adult diapers beneath their flight suits.
These aircraft carried out a variety of roles in long duration, long-range missions starting from Pune and encompassing Agatti and Minicoy in the Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands during the exercise.
Sources told The New Indian Express that pilots of the frontline fighters like the Sukhoi 30 MKI who flew for a duration of about five to six hours during the exercise wore diapers.
``The pilots did wear diapers during the exercise as they were involved in long range missions. In the past too, they have resorted to this practice when they went to participate in Cooperative Cope Thunde in the US,” said sources.
Aircraft like the Sukhoi 30 MKI allows pilots to relieve themselves during flight and pilots are provided with diapers as a precautionary measure.
“The diapers come in handy due to the long duration of time spent in the cockpit and also because the profiles they carried out during the missions,” added sources. The mission profiles included precision attacks on ground and off-shore targets and intercept geometries involving beyond visual range as well as all aspect of air to air missiles.
During the mission, IL-78 aircraft were available in the air to refuel the combat aircraft at vantage points.
The hallmark of the Dakshin Prahar exercise was the close coordination between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) which operate simultaneously in a flexi-air environment.