We’ve no problem with MiG 29s: Air Marshal

Express News Service

“We have no problem with our MiG 29 aircrafts,” said Air Marshal PV Athawale, AOC-in-C, Maintenance Command. “We are upgrading the MiG 29s. Once upgraded, they will become more potent,” he added.Russia may have grounded its entire fleet of MiG 29 aircraft following a crash in which two were killed, but Indian AirForce feels its aircraft are safe and pose no problems.Speaking to the media during a visit to 3 Base Repair Depot (BRD), Chandigarh, Athawale said that the Central government had in 2008, signed a contract with a Russian firm to upgrade 63 MiG 29 aircraft at a cost of about US $ 964 million.

The upgrade is planned in two phases — Design and Development (D&D) in Russia and series upgrade in India. Upgradation of six aircraft in D&D phase commenced in August 2008. “Russia has already upgraded the aircraft. The series upgrade for the remaining MIG29s is expected to be carried out in India in two-three months,” the Air Marshal said.

Once upgraded, the lifespan of MiG-29 aircraft, which were inducted between 1986 and 1995, will go up to 40 years from the current 25 years.

On the upgradation of AN-32 aircraft, Athawale said that the first batch had already come back from Ukraine. The calendar life of AN-32 aircraft will also be enhanced from 25 to 40 years. The expenditure likely to be incurred on the project is US$ 397.7 million. On the maintenance philosophy of Medium-Multirole Aircraft (M-MRCA) deal, Athawale added that it was yet to be decided. “The complete picture will emerge later,” he said.

Athawale added that the IAF was observing this year as year of maintenance and the entire force was targeting to make a progress of five per cent over the the existing level in role equipment as well as aircraft serviceability. He added that ‘Airmen’ were now a “brand in our country in respect of their work culture and discipline.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Jul 13 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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