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Sunday, May 13, 2007

26 of 29 Crashed Fighters Had Been Touched by Indian HAL

In a damning indictment of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), parliament was informed Wednesday that 26 of the 29 combat aircraft that crashed in the past three years had been manufactured, overhauled or upgraded by the company.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) operated all the 26 aircraft, which had 40-50 percent of their operational life left when they crashed, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

The other three aircraft belonged to the Indian Navy, which has its own repair and maintenance facilities independent of HAL.

Giving details, Antony said the IAF had lost eight MiG-21s, six Jaguars, four MiG-27s, four Mirages, three MiG-29s, and one Bison - an upgraded version of the MiG-21 during 2004-05 and 2006-07.

The Indian Navy lost three Sea Harriers during this period.

During 1992-2004, Antony said, HAL had manufactured two MiG-21s and overhauled eight, of which eight had crashed. In addition, the company had overhauled a Bison and upgraded another, of which one crashed.

In the case of the Jaguars, the company had manufactured three and overhauled five, of which six crashed.

In the case of the Mirages, HAL had overhauled four, all of which had crashed.

In the case of the MiG-27, HAL had manufactured three and overhauled a similar number, of which four crashed.

As for the MiG-29, HAL had overhauled three, all of which crashed.

Of the 29 crashes, 13 had occurred in 2004-05, and eight each in the subsequent two years.

Sorry for India's quality.


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