New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been on a spares buying spree for almost its entire fleet, from fighters, transporters to helicopters.
Several bids have been invited from the vendors for spares which will go into the maintenance of aging Mig-21s, newer Mirage-2000s and Su-30s apart from An-32 and IL-76 transporters and Mi-17 helicopters. The spare supply lines of some of these platforms had faced problems.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has recently admitted in the Parliament that one of the reasons for the slow upgrade of An-32 fleet has been the procurement of spares which was hampered because of strained relations between Russia and Ukraine, the two sources. The spares are being procured after the easing of tension with Pakistan.
Several tenders have been floated recently for spares like pilot parachutes and harness for Su-30s to electric motors and fueling panels for An-32.
The IAF has a long inventory of spares as it has aircraft procured from both Russian and European vendors. The large fleet essentially remains of Russian-origin, be it fighters, transporters or helicopters.