Air Force to spend Rs 500 crore on BRDs upgradation

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Chandigarh, Sep 25 (UNI) The Maintenance Command of Indian Air Force will spend Rs 500 crore in the upgradation and modernisation of its 13 Base Repair Depots (BRD) all over the country.

Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command informed the mediapersons here today that the Defence Ministry had already sanctioned the amount and the upgradation of the BRDs would be completed within 4-5 years.

Air Marshal Nayyar said that negotiations were on with Russia to buy about 80 technically advanced Medium Lift Helicopters (MLH) to replace 50 MI-8 helicopters which were 35-year-old.

''These helicopters with more powerfull and modern engines would be more suitable for the higher reaches like Siachin,'' he said.

The overall maintaince of these helicopters would be done here in 3BRD, he said.

Asserting that the defence ministry was serious about the need for indigenisation to maintain imported defence equipment, Air Marshal Nayyar said that it was also exploring possibility of roping in the private sector in this process.

''Under the chairmanship of the defence minister, a delegation of Air Force officers had recently held a seminar at Delhi to discuss this possibility with leading industry and trade leaders,'' the Air Marshal said.

Regarding the purchases made for national security, he said that from this year we have introduced Defence Procurement Procedure and Defence Procurement Manuals, under which it was made mandatory for the vendors to invest at least 30-40 per cent of the money earned from the deal, including technology transfer, in the country to develop facilities for maintenance of such equipment.

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