Indian Air Force: One of the largest but the worst Air Force of the World in terms of serviceability and maintenance Records, reveals data

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Indian Air Force: One of the largest but the worst Air Force of the World in terms of serviceability and maintenance Records, reveals data

LAHORE - A former Indian Defence Minister had told an astonished parliament that more than half the 872 MiGs it had purchased from Russia had been lost in accidents, at a cost of over 200 human lives.

According to figures released by the Indian Ministry of Defence in March 2013, the Indian Air Force has been losing the equivalent of one fighter squadron (approximately 18 fighters) in accidents every two years.

Most of the Aircraft crashed in India are Russian Jets (Variants of MIG and Sukhoi), research shows. According to “Bharat Rakshak,” a website devoted to discussing India’s military affairs, the country has lost 264 Military Aircraft from 2000 to 2015.

At least 33 Indian Air Force planes have met accidents during the last five years or so since March 28, 2014, when a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules had crashed near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh State while on a training mission, killing all five on board and destroying the aircraft completely—reducing it to mere ashes.

These 33 crashes have claimed more than 50 lives, an exclusive research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” shows. AFP reported on Friday that an Indian fighter jet crashed in desert close to the border with Pakistan -- after collision with a bird, the air force said.

The ageing Russian-made MiG-21 jet, which crash with some regularity, was on a routine sortie in western Rajasthan state when Friday’s accident happened. The pilot ejected safely. “Initial inputs indicate the likely cause of accident as bird hit after takeoff,” the Indian Air Force said in a statement.

All global air forces meet accidents, but the stories of Indian warplanes crashing on training flights have become almost routine news, hence raising many questions about the quality of India’s flying equipment and the capabilities of the men controlling these machines.

The reasons for these frequent accidents include human errors (shoddy maintenance), outdated spares, obsolete air-frames and system malfunctioning etc.