Indian Air Force lost 12 aircraft in crashes: Antony

Indian Air Force lost 12 aircraft in crashes: Antony

New Delhi: Government Wednesday said the Indian Air Force has lost 12 aircraft, including seven fighters, in crashes this year, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

“IAF has lost 12 aircraft this year till now," defence minister A K Antony said in a written reply.

The fighters include the frontline Su-30MKI, which crashed over Jaisalmer in April killing one of the pilots, wing commander P S Narah. Others were three each Russian-built MiG 27s and MiG 21s.

The crashed trainer aircraft include a HPT-32 and Kiran Mk II. The lone An-32 transport aircraft was lost over Assam.

The Air Force lost two helicopters, a Mi-8 and Mi-17, in separate incidents.

On the indigenously-built and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), the defence minister said it is expected to get Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) by middle of 2011.

“LCH’s first prototype (technology demonstrator) is expected to get the initial operation clearance by around mid 2011," he said.