New Delhi, July 8 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony today said the government is planning to increase the number of Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft in Indian Air Force to 230 by 2015.
Antony informed the Rajya Sabha that since 1996 the Air Force has procured 98 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets. "By 2015, we plan to have a fleet of 230 Sukhoi fighter aircraft," he said.
The Defnce Minister further said the Air Force is very happy with these aircraft,, and added that the Sukhoi being one of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world, is best suited for Indian conditions.
He said a court of inquiry has been ordered into a Sukhoi crash near Jaisalmer on 30 April during a routine training flight. Both pilots ejected but the flying inspector, who was also a qualified pilot and was occupying the rear seat, succumbed to injuries.
"A total number of 22 MIG Aircraft of the Indian Air Force has crashed from April 01, 2006 till date. There were three casualties in these crashes," Antony said.
"Besides, a team of Russian experts visited India to probe the recent crashes of the Sukhoi 30 MKI aircraft. The report forms a part of the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry, which is under finalization.
"In the past six months January 1 to June 30, 2009 eight aircraft have crashed. During the last one year from June 29, 2008 to June 28, 2009, there have been 10 air crashes/accidents involving fighter aircraft of Indian Air Force," Antony said.
He added that each accident is investigated through a Court of Inquiry and remedial measures are undertaken accordingly to check their recurrence in future and a continuous and multi-faceted effort is always underway to enhance and upgrade flight safety. (ANI)