Noida/Nagpur: IAF’s Mirage 2000 successfully landed on Yamuna Expressway near Mathura on Thursday as part of trials to use national highways for emergency landing.
A stretch of the Agra-Lucknow expressway in Uttar Pradesh is set to become a road runway for combat jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF), a first for military aviation in the country.
Trial run for an Air Force aircraft landing carried out on Yamuna Expressway (UP) https://t.co/HlaL81i9NF
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 21, 2015
The IAF had recently presented the proposal to the state government after ascertaining details of the Agra-Lucknow expressway, the longest greenfield expressway in the country. The IAF will also bear the cost of the project.
Sources said the segment to be used as a road runway will have to be straight, level and located on non-undulating ground without any slope.
The road runway segment will not have electricity poles, masts or mobile phone towers. There will be portable ground lighting systems that can be quickly placed on the roadsides to guide aircraft during landings.
China, Pakistan, Sweden, Germany and Singapore are among the countries that have road runways, but this will be a first for India. Road runways assume importance if airbases are crippled during hostilities.
The Pakistan Air Force has demonstrated its ability to land a range of combat and transport aircraft on the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway. During an exercise in 2010, two fighter jets landed on the motorway.
The 308km Agra-Lucknow expressway is expected to cost Rs 13,000 crore. It will pass through Firozabad, Shikohabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj and Mohanlalganj..