Aircraft crashes in the Indian Air Force (IAF) have shown a declining trend over the last three years.
From a high of 30 in fiscal 2011-12, they have declined to 6 in 2012-13 and an equal number in 2013-14. For the current fiscal, the figure in 5 so far.
According to information provided by the Indian Defence Minister, Mahohar Parrikar in Parliament yesterday, the MiG-21 topped the number of crashes with 8 during the period under review followed by the Jaguar with four and the MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30MKI with three each. The Mirage-2000 fleet has had two accidents.
The Indian Air Force’s leading fighter aircraft, the Su-30MKI had recently been grounded for a review of its ejection seat system following a crash on October 21. The fleet was allowed to be airborne again after about a month following an investigation. The IAF had said in a statement after the fleet was made airborne again that it is “satisfied with the changes that have been carried out on all aeroplanes across the entire fleet”. There are presently around 200 Su-30s in service with India.
The loss to the Indian MoD from the aircraft crashes is to the tune of INR1161.50 crore ($188 million) in terms of value of crashed aircraft, the Defense Minister said.
“Every IAF aircraft accident/incident is thoroughly investigated by Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of accident and the recommendations of the completed Court of Inquiry are implemented. Main reasons for these accidents were Human Error and Technical Defect,” the minister added.
The IAF is in the process of phasing out the MiG-21s and will induct the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft and the Light Combat Aircraft.