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India to land 20 fighter jets on expressway

Staff Writer |
India will land as many as 20 fighter jets on an expressway in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh as part of trials to use roads for emergency landings.

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The Indian Air Force planes will participate in a landing and take-off exercise on Agra-Lucknow Expressway, a 302-km high-speed corridor connecting the tourist town of Agra with state capital Lucknow, from October 20 to 24, defense officials said.

"Twenty Indian Air Force aircraft will participate in the exercise. These will include French Dassault Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Sukhoi 30 MKI and AN-32 transport," Gargi Malik, public relations officer of the Indian Defense Ministry, told the media Wednesday evening.

On a 3.3-km stretch of Agra-Lucknow Expressway, the Indian Air Force had landed eight fighter jets last year. And in 2015, it had for the first time successfully test-landed a fighter jet on Yamuna Expressway, a high-speed road corridor connecting Delhi with Agra.

Both Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Yamuna Expressway are connected to each other and are two of India's most modern highways.

The Indian Air Force has plans to earmark various sections of India's highways for use as runways for combat aircraft at short notice. Road runways are usually used for emergency landings if airbases come under attack during a war.

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