Going above and beyond: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flies sortie in Sukhoi

Sitharaman flew a 45-minute sortie -- she sat behind the pilot -- in a Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter jet

Jaunt around Jodhpur

Sitharaman took off from the Jodhpur air base, sitting in the rear seat behind the pilot.

'Proud and thankful'

After the 45-minute sortie, Sitharaman said she was 'proud and thankful' to have gone through the experience because 'it actually tells me with what rigour, practice, what level of readiness and how quickly they (defence personnel) have to respond to situations. It was eye-opening and memorable.'

Well-travelled defence minister

Sitharaman often travels to Army, Air Force and Navy bases to better understand how they operate. She was recently aboard the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya while it patrolled the Arabian sea.

Beyond enemy lines

The Sukhoi 30 MKI is a twin-engine fighter aircraft with a two-seat cockpit. It is a nuclear-capable aircraft which can penetrate deep into enemy territory.

Suited & booted

Sitharaman wore a g-suit, or anti-gravity suit, and a helmet with an oxygen mask.