Two aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, raising concerns over the competency of the country’s aerial combat facilities.
In the first incident, a Sukhoi-30 fighter crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer district on Wednesday – raising the number of accidents pertaining to the Russian-origin aircraft to seven since 2009.
Defence spokesperson Manish Ozha said the fighter, which was on a training sortie, allegedly developed a snag around noon. Though both the pilots managed to eject safely, the jet crashed in a residential area – injuring three members of a family.
In the second incident, a Chetak helicopter toppled over while making an emergency landing on an uneven field at Gauspur Kautala village in Uttar Pradesh after developing a technical snag about a kilometre from the Basic Flying Training School at Bamrauli airbase on Wednesday morning. Both the pilots escaped unhurt.
“The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to ascertain the cause of the chopper accident,” said Allahabad PRO (defence) group captain BB Pandey. Officials said the incident occurred while a trainee pilot was being tutored by an IAF instructor.
The Su-30 crash comes at a time when the IAF is struggling to fill its gaps in combat capabilities.
- June 13, 2016 -- MiG-27 crashes in residential area of Jodhpur, 3 injured, pilot ejects safely
- January 27, 2015 -- MIG-27 crashes near Barmer city, injuring a biker
- January 22, 2014 -- Jaguar combat jet crashes near Bholasar village in Bikaner district. Pilot and co-pilot eject safely
- July 15, 2013 -- MiG-21 Bison crashes at Uttarlai airbase in Barmer, pilot killed in crash
- June 7, 2013 -- MiG-21 Bison crashes in Barmer, pilot ejects safely
- February 19, 2013 -- Sukhoi SU-30 crashes in Jaisalmer district, both pilots eject safely
- February 2, 2013 -- MiG-27 crashes at Kumharon ki Dhani village in Barmer near Uttarlia airbase
India’s Sukhoi-30 fleet, which is plagued by engine troubles and poor serviceability issues, recorded as many as 35 engine snags between January 2013 and December 2014. Its serviceability currently stands at 60%, which means only 60 out of 100 fighters are available for missions at any given point in time.
Upon being intimated about the aircraft crash, IAF officials and local authorities – including Barmer district collector Sudheer Sharma and deputy superintendent of police Omprakash Ujjawal – reached the spot. Sharma identified the injured people as Devaniyon ki Dhani resident Narayanaram, his wife Dallu Devi and son Hanumana Ram.