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19 fighter aircraft, 11 helicopters crash in last 3 years

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Altogether 19 fighter aircraft and 11 helicopters of the armed forces crashed in last three years in which 24 service personnel were killed, Lok Sabha was informed.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the highest nine fighter aircraft and four choppers crashed in 2011-12, in which seven service personnel lost their lives.

These crashed aircraft include two mirage aircraft.

In 2012-13, four fighter aircraft and five helicopters crashed in which 15 service personnel were killed.

Jaitley said during Question Hour that in 2014-15, so far only one fighter aircraft crashed, claiming the life of a service personnel.

Besides, during special operations in aid to civil and military agencies, two helicopters of Indian Air Force were destroyed in which five IAF personnel and 15 civilian and paramilitary personnel were killed.

Replying to a supplementary question, Jaitley said every aircraft has a fixed life and, therefore, the government has launched a phasing out programme.

"Once the phasing out is complete, the alternative aircraft will replace the existing ones," he said.

The Defence Minister said every accident or incident is thoroughly investigated by a Court or Board of Inquiry and the recommendations of all the completed Court or Board of Inquiry have been implemented.

Armed forces have taken various preventive measures like invigoration of aviation safety organisation, streamlining of accident reporting procedure, analytical studies and quality audits of the aircraft fleets to identify vulnerable areas to reduce aircraft accidents.

"Also, accident prevention programmes have been given an added thrust to identify risk prone/hazardous areas specific to the aircraft fleet and operational environment to ensure safe practices/procedures," he said.


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