Indigenisation helped lessen Russia-Ukraine war impact on supply of spare parts: Air Force chief

Published on May 30, 2022 10:20 PM IST

Referring to the diversity of equipment with the IAF, Chaudhari said they have aircraft from six different countries and many indigenous products also

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari (left) reviews the Passing Out Parade at NDA on Monday. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari (left) reviews the Passing Out Parade at NDA on Monday. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Pune: Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, said on Saturday that the Ukraine-Russia conflict has not made a “huge impact” on supply of defence equipment spare parts of Russian-origin, especially due to India’s robust stocking policy and indigenisation efforts.

“Though we are dependent on Russia for a large number of equipment, the war has not made a major impact as we have already catered to future requirements,” Chaudhari said.

The Air Chief Marshal was interacting with the media after the passing out parade at National Defence Academy (NDA) near Pune.

“We have indigenised many spares that we have been importing from Russia,” he said.

On the push towards “Atmanirbhar Bharat” in the defence sector, he said the three forces have set up departments directly interacting with the Indian industry.

“We have decided to make certain items in India, even if it takes more time, and not import,” he said, adding that a contract for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was given last year and the delivery is expected next year.

When asked about the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) ranking on the World Air Power Index, the Air Chief Marshal said, “It was a pleasant surprise for us also that we are placed at the third position. We have got a fairly robust network system which helps us plan our operations, management and maintenance.”

IAF was positioned after the US and Russian forces, surpassing China’s People’s Liberation Army on the World Air Power Index.

Referring to the diversity of equipment with the IAF, Chaudhari said they have aircraft from six different countries and many indigenous products also.

“I think all these factors have made us rise to the number 3 position and we are very proud of it,” he said.

The IAF recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the IIT-Madras to develop indigenous solutions to maintain various weapon systems.

Asked if there are more such plans, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said, “During the outreach programme with the Indian industry, we have found ample opportunities to have similar MoUs not only with the academia, but also with the MSMEs also.”

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