The Indian Air Force must lay down clear red lines for continued operational effectiveness. Comment.
Published: June 25, 2019
The crash of AN-32 has raised severe doubts about the extent of Flight Safety in Indian Air Force. The rates of accidents have been significantly brought down over the past few decades. Air crashes are fully exposed to media thereby making the families of the victims to the unwanted trauma. This hamper the critical remedial measures and outcomes which usually result from the professional inquiries of the accidents. It makes it important to find out about those less-discussed issues which continue to worry the aviation safety in the IAF. IAF has one of the most diverse and decorated fleets among all the modern air forces of the world. Some of the coveted jets are the Avro, MiG-21 and also the IL-76 all of whom have had very less accidents in the last five years. When we compare the rates of mishaps, under the Category A, US Air Force recorded an increase of 17% while IAF had recorded a decline from 0.29 to 0.24. A positive story also emerges when we compare the US Air Forceï¿½s F-16 Fleet and the Mirage-2000 Fleet of IAF. The point of slow phasing out of the older variants of MiGï¿½21 and MiG-27. As we go deep into the system, there are many operational necessities which have forced the IAF to extend their life. A robust and continuously trained cockpit-to-crew ratio between 1:1.75 to 1:2 is the need of the hour for IAF to be fully combat ready for full-scale operations. The present ratio can only manage a limited conflict. The MiG-21 and MiG-27 have to be replaced by LCA and MMRCA. There is a continuous rise in risks which can be addressed with great urgency. The government has to speed up the LCA production and Rafale induction and also speeding up of the new deal for 114 fighter jets.