Tuesday, June 25, 2019

No replacement, AN-32 aircraft will fly in mountainous areas: IAF chief

New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Monday said the Indian Air Force (IAF) will continue to use transport aircraft Antonov AN-32 aircraft as there is no replacement at the moment.

"AN-32 aircraft will continue to fly in mountainous areas, we don't have any replacement," Dhanoa said while addressing a press conference in Gwalior.

He, however, added that the IAF has expedited the process to acquire new equipment including advanced line of aircraft, following which they will not be used in a critical role. It would then become just a routine aircraft that would be used for training.

Dhanoa's statement comes after an AN-32 aircraft crashed in a remote location in Arunachal Pradesh earlier this month with 13 personnel onboard. The bodies were recovered 17 days after the aircraft went missing from the radar.

The exact cause of the accident may remain a mystery as the Black Box, which stores vital flight data, was damaged in the crash. However, many have raised questions over the use of the old Russian-made turboprop twin-engine military transport plane.

Dhanoa, who was the chief guest at the event to commemorate 20 years of Kargil War, also recalled how integration of targeting pod, laser-guided bomb system for the iconic Mirage 2000 was done before the crucial Tiger Hill strike.

"Purpose of our attack has always been to show our resolve and capability, and the message has been given to the person who is being hit, on 2 Aug, 2002 the message was given to the person who was being hit as that person never returned," he said.
24/06/19 India Today
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