Indian Air Force's Jaguar Still Performs Poorly After 20 Years, Says Auditor
Amid talk of a fresh purchase of French Jaguar fighters, India's top-level auditor has sounded the alarm over Jaguar jets now in service with Indian Air Force. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed deficiencies in the aircraft, which hampers its capabilities and may have led to accidents.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – A total of 11 Jaguar aircraft met with accidents in the last 17 years. The Indian Air Force (IAF) had lost three Jaguar aircraft and one pilot since April 2008 due to pilot disorientation/human error whereas the loss of another four Jaguar aircraft was under investigation.
"Against the requirement of 108 autopilots projected by IAF, only 18 autopilots could be integrated on the Jaguar aircraft as of March 2017. The integrated autopilots were also functioning sub-optimally due to malfunctioning of their vital component i.e. Auto Pilot Electronic Unit (APEU). Thus, the flying aid capability envisaged by IAF for the Jaguar aircraft in 1997 remains largely unrealized even after 20 years," CAG said in a report tabled in Parliament on July 28.
Modern fighter aircraft are equipped with autopilot which reduces pilot's workload, enhances the safety of aircraft and reduces aircraft accidents while earlier vintage; autopilots are bought separately and integrated with these aircraft.
It has been reported in the French magazine Le Pointe that the two countries are holding discussions on transfer of 31 unused Jaguar fighter jet of French Air Force. During his visit to France earlier this month, the engineer along with IAF chief BS Dhanoa had reviewed the stored Jaguar in France.
India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is upgrading Jaguar DARIN III twin-seat aircraft with new state-of-the-art avionics architecture including the open system architecture mission computer, engine and flight instrument system, fire control radar, state-of-the-art inertial navigation system with GPS and many others. Modernization will add additional operational life to the aircraft for another 20 years.
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