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Aero India 2023

IAF modernisation to be completed by 2022: Browne

The Pilatus-PC 7 is expected to join the IAF from January 2013.

HYDERABAD (PTI): Indian Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne has said that the ongoing modernisation of Indian Air Force would be accomplished by 2022.

"All the contracts which are signed during the 11th plan are about Rs 1.12 lakh crore and they will be executed till 2017. At least 65 to 70 per cent of modernisation will be accomplished by 2017, and the rest by 2022....So 12th and 13th Five-Year plans are very crucial for IAF," Browne said on Saturday.

He was speaking to reporters after reviewing the combined Graduation Day parade of flying officers at Dundigal Air Force Academy here.

The procurement of new aircraft is seen in view of the IAF's efforts to give fillip to raising current combat aircraft squadron strength from 34 to 42.

"The modernisation that I speak about involves moving up our squadron strength from 34 to 42. So we need more pilots, technicians and we need more officers to fly the aircrafts," Browne said.

On acquiring 75 new basic trainer aircraft from the Switzerland-based firm, Pilatus, Browne said IAF will be sending pilots and other technical staff to Switzerland to undergo the three-month training on the aircraft as the 'Pilatus-PC 7' is expected to join the fleet from January 2013.

"We will be sending our pilots and about 75 technicians to Switzerland for training. They will be coming back after three months of training there. And from January (2013) onward the PC-7 aircraft will start to join in the academy," he said, adding the entire delivery of the aircraft is expected to be completed by July 2014.

The IAF had inked the deal with the Swiss firm Pilatus to buy new basic training aircraft two months back.

The IAF had in 2009 grounded the HAL-manufactured HPT-32 aircraft for basic training purpose on variety of reasons.


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