NEW DELHI, Only about 55 percent of India’s military aircraft are in operational order, with a large number grounded due to technical issues according to reports.
The surprisingly dismal state of India’s military aircraft fleet was reported to a parliamentary panel by Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar in a notice,according to The Economic Times. This means just over 350 of India’s 700 combat aircraft are cleared to take flight.
“During the period from January to December 2014, the average aircraft availability was approximately 55 percent,” the Defense Ministry told Parliament. “Between 15-20 percent of the aircraft fleet were Aircraft on Ground (AOG) due to shortage of spares.”
Technical issues have also affected India’s fleet of Russian-made Su 30 MKI, with only about half the aircraft in working order. Russia and India are set to sign a follow-up contract for the delivery of spare parts to alleviate the issues.
Parrikar told The Economic Times he aims to increase the availability of India’s combat aircraft to 65 percent.
By Ryan Maass