New Delhi: Of the 872 MiG series fighter aircraft purchased by the government till 1980, a total of 482 planes have crashed till now, killing 171 pilots and 39 civilians, government told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "A total of 872 MiG aircraft of various types were purchased from 1966-1980... 482 MiG aircraft accidents took place since 1971-72 to 2012-13 (till April 19, 2012)."
Furnishing details of these casualties and the cause of accidents, he said, "A total of 171 pilots, 39 civilians, eight service personnel and one aircrew lost their lives in these accidents. The causes of accidents were both human error and technical defects."
On procurement of Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) to train young IAF pilots, Antony said, "The proposal for procurement of BTA for IAF is awaiting consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)."
He told the House that another contender in the deal Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) "has been found to be devoid of merit."
About purchase of C-17 aircraft from the US, Antony said "government has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with US for procurement of 10 C-17 Globemaster-III Very Heavy Transport Aircraft. The total cost of aircraft and associated equipment is estimated at USD 4.116 billion."
Replying to a question on modernisation of IAF, he said the Long Term Perspective Plan (LTPP) envisages procurement of various aircraft and equipment for next 15 years from 2012 to 2027.
"The plan lays down the roadmap for capability building and enhancement of combat potential of the IAF," the Minister said.
Stating that there is a need to replace the present fleet
of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters with Army and IAF, Antony said "proposals for procurement of 197 Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopters (RSHs) and 187 Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) under design and development project by HAL for Army and Air Force are being progressed."
On delivery schedule of Scorpene submarines which are being constructed at the Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), he said, "The first of the six Scorpene submarines is to be delivered by June, 2015 and the last by September, 2018."
On purchase of ammunition for the T-90 Main Battle Tank (MBT), he said that the proposal for procurement of "missiles and ammunition for T-90 tanks are at various stages of procurement in accordance with the Defence Production Procedure".