India retires its ageing spy planes

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

NEW DELHI, May 1 (AFP) – The Indian Air Force Monday retired its four ageing spy planes and said military satellites will take over the role of the Soviet-era aircraft, local media reported. “The nature of warfare is changing with satellites taking over the act of spying,” Air Chief Marshall S.P. Tyagi said at a ceremony at an air base in Uttar Pradesh state, the Press Trust of India said.

“The MiG-25s no longer have a strategic use to India and besides, the planes are no longer cost effective,” Tyagi said.

Tyagi said INSAT 2B multi-purpose satellites would assume the role carried out by the 30-year-old Soviet-built aircraft. The MiG-25 could travel at three times the speed of sound and at an altitude of more than 80,000 feet (24,242 metres).