New Delhi: As many as 34 MiG fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force have crashed in the last five years and six pilots and five civilians were killed in these accidents, the Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
From 2007-08 to March 2013, a total of 34 MiG fighter aircraft were crashed, Defence Minister A K Antony told Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a query.
"Technical defects and human errors were the two main reasons of the accidents," he said, adding that six pilots and five civilians were killed in the mishaps.
Every IAF aircraft accident is thoroughly investigated by a court of inquiry (Col) to ascertain its cause of accident. Remedial measures are taken to prevent their recurrence in future, the minister said.
"IAF has taken various measures relating to invigoration of aviation safety organisation, analytical studies and quality audits of the aircraft fleets to identify vulnerable area and institute remedial measures to reduce aircraft accidents, including establishment of an Ornithology cell for bird surveys at flying bases," Antony said.
In reply to a query over fighter helicopters, he said, "There is no dispute between Army and IAF for control of fighter helicopters. Keeping in view the operational requirements, the government has decided that ownership of future inductions of attack helicopters will be vested with the Army."
On delivery of Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) to IAF by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), he said the aircraft is targeted to be inducted in the force from 2014 onward.
"IAF has signed two contracts with HAL for delivery of 12 Limited Series Production IJT and 73 Series Production IJT aircraft...HAL has confirmed delivery of the aircraft in a phased manner after grant of Initial Operational Clearance," he said.
In reply to a question on funds spent for procurement of weapons, Antony said Rs 2,98,568.86 crore has been spent for the purpose from 2002 to 2012.