Image Source: The Diplomat
Bengaluru: After hours of speculation about the source of the 'sonic boom' that was heard in the city on Wednesday, May 20 afternoon, the mystery has finally been solved by the Ministry of Defence.
Apparently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has admitted that the sound was a result of a "routine Indian Air Force test flight", according to a tweet by the Ministry of Defence.
"It was a routine IAF Test Flight involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside City limits. The aircraft was of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) whose Test Pilots & Flight Test Engineers routinely test out all aeroplanes. The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40,000 feet altitude," the Defence Ministry tweeted on Wednesday night.
The Ministry further explained, in its statement, that the aircraft was far away from the city when the incident occurred adding, "...The sound of a sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 kilometres away from the person."
The aircraft was far away from the city limits when this occurred. The sound of a sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 kilometres away from the person.— PRO Bengaluru, Ministry of Defence (@Prodef_blr) May 20, 2020
It can be recalled that the thunderous sound, described by many as a sonic boom, was heard in the city at around 1.30 PM on Wednesday. In an earlier statement, the IAF Training Command had denied that it was caused by a training sortie, although it had confirmed that the aircraft could be flying under the ASTE or the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
As per a report by TNM, the HAL had hinted, earlier in the evening, that the ASTE's Sukhoi Su-30 aircraft had taken flight from HAL at around the time the 'sonic boom' was heard by the residents.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a Russian-developed aircraft that is built under the HAL's license. It has recorded the highest speed of 2,120 kmph.
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