`Bring time-bound acquisitions to phase out MiGs`

A parliamentary Standing Committee has emphasised on time-bound initiatives for acquiring new aircraft and phasing out old ones.

Updated: Mar 26, 2012, 23:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Noting that 50 per cent of MiG
fighter aircraft with Air Force have crashed and India is the
only country still flying them, a parliamentary Standing
Committee has emphasised on time-bound initiatives for
acquiring new aircraft and phasing out old ones.

In its report tabled in Parliament on Monday, the Committee
noted that 476 MiG aircraft have crashed so far and the
majority of accidents took place because of old technology in
the planes.

"The Committee may like to strongly emphasise that all the
initiatives should be taken to ensure that planned
acquisitions of aircraft are in place within the stipulated
time frame so that these old MiG aircraft can be phased out as
early as possible," the report said.

From the information made available by the Ministry, the
Committee found that the accident rate of MiG aircraft is
high and 476 aircraft have crashed so far, leaving a fleet of
470 aircraft only.

"More than 50 per cent MiG aircraft have already met with
accidents. The Ministry has acknowledged that majority of
technical defect accidents pertain to old technology aircraft
and the problems associated with vintage technology with the
engines malfunctions of MiG-21 and MiG-27 more pronounced,"
the report said.

The Committee was further apprised that these aircraft
have even been phased out of the Russian Air Force and, "We
are the only Air Force in the world which is flying the
aircraft."

Noting that adequate measures are not being taken to phase
out the MiG aircraft, the Committee lashed out the Defence
Ministry`s "casual" response that "review of life of existing
fleet and induction of new fleet by its replacement is a
continuous process."

For synergy among Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Air
Force and Defence Ministry, the Committee recommended that
"there is an urgent need to have organisational mechanism to
synergize efforts made for flight safety amongst various
agencies and periodicity of quality checks may also be
reviewed."

On efforts to deal with piracy, the report said that the
"Committee was saddened to note that one of the most important
operative part of recommendation i.e. setting up of a separate
unit under Indian Navy to deal with the issue related to
piracy has not been responded by the Ministry."

Stating that it is not oblivious to the fact that piracy
in Indian waters are not contained, it noted that, "It is in
this backdrop that setting up of separate unit is imperative
not only to safeguard Indian waters but also for the life and
safety of sailors."

PTI