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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Go for time-bound acquistions so as to phase out MiGs: panel

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, March 27, IRNA -- Noting that 50 per cent of MiG fighter aircraft with Air Force have crashed and India is the only country still flying them, a parliamentary Standing Committee has emphasised on time-bound initiatives to acquire new aircraft and phase out old ones.

In its report tabled in Parliament on Monday, the committee noted that 476 MiG aircraft have crashed so far and the majority of accidents took place because of old technology in the planes.

'The committee may like to strongly emphasise that all the initiatives should be taken to ensure that planned acquisitions of aircraft are in place within the stipulated time frame so that these old MiG aircraft can be phased out as early as possible,' pti reported.

From the information made available by the Ministry, the Committee found that the accident rate of MiG aircraft is high and 476 aircraft have crashed so far, leaving a fleet of 470 aircraft only.

'More than 50 per cent MiG aircraft have already met with accidents. The ministry has acknowledged that majority of technical defect accidents pertain to old technology aircraft and the problems associated with vintage technology with the engines malfunctions of MiG-21 and MiG-27 more pronounced,' the report said.

Noting that adequate measures are not being taken to phase out the MiG aircraft, the committee lashed out the Defence Ministry's 'casual' response that 'review of life of existing fleet and induction of new fleet by its replacement is a continuous process.'

For synergy among Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Air Force and Defence Ministry, the committee recommended that 'there is an urgent need to have organisational mechanism to synergize efforts made for flight safety amongst various agencies and periodicity of quality checks may also be reviewed.'

On efforts to deal with piracy, the report said that the 'committee was saddened to note that one of the most important operative part of recommendation i.e. setting up of a separate unit under Indian Navy to deal with the issue related to piracy has not been responded by the ministry.'

Stating that it is not oblivious to the fact that piracy in Indian waters are not contained, it noted that, 'It is in this backdrop that setting up of separate unit is imperative not only to safeguard Indian waters but also for the life and safety of sailors.'

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80052774



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