39 defence aircraft lost in crashes since 2007-08: Govt



New Delhi: 39 aircraft including the latest Sukhoi 30 MKI and MiG series fighter jets and helicopters have been lost in crashes which claimed 16 lives during the last 40 months, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

"39 aircraft including MiG series, Sukhoi aircraft and helicopters have been lost in air crashes during the last three financial years from 2007-08 to August 11 this year," Defence Minster A K Antony said in a written reply.

Of the 16 people killed in these crashes, 13 were from the armed forces. 14 civilians were also injured in these mishaps.

The MiG 21s have suffered the highest casualty as 12 of these were lost in the last three years whereas six MiG 27s were also lost during the same period.

The Navy also lost eight of its aircraft including four Sea Harriers, two Kamov choppers and two Kiran Mk II trainer aircraft, which crashed over an airshow early this year.

To another question, Antony said India has signed a contract with Russia for procuring 29 more MiG 29K maritime combat jets of which 24 would be fighters and five trainers.

PTI