NSA advice sought on Army-IAF tussle for choppers

Last Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 20:25

New Delhi: Amidst ongoing tussle between the IAF and the Army over control of attack and medium-lift choppers, the Defence Ministry has sought the advice of the National Security Advisor (NSA) to resolve the issue.

The Army has been demanding control over attack and medium-lift helicopters saying they are mainly used for its operations and that is why they should be under it. The IAF has been strongly opposing the demand.

The Defence Ministry is seeking advice of the NSA on the issue as to who should control the attack and medium-lift helicopters in the country, Army sources said here.

The Army is hopeful that the issue would be decided keeping in mind its operational necessities and requirements, they said.

Justifying its demands, Army sources said requirement for induction of tactical and attack choppers into the force is an "inescapable operational necessity" as infrastructure along the borders with China is "far from satisfactory" and such assets would be required to cut down on the time for movement.

The tussle between the two Services over the issue had come out in open when IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said the country cannot afford to have these "little air forces" doing their own things.

Defence Minister A K Antony had played down the tussle, saying it was a "family problem" and the Government was in the final stages of resolving the matter.

Commenting on the proposal, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh had said the Defence Ministry holds a very "sympathetic view" about the demand raised by the Army for having its own attack helicopters.

As per its plans, the Army wants to raise attack chopper squadrons as part of its strike corps and then raise them at every corps level.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 20:25

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