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India's MiG-29s are safe, says Air Force chief


File photo of Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major

KOLKATA (PTI): Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, today assured that the MiG-29 aircraft used by the IAF were safe, amidst media reports that Russia had grounded a large number of its MiG-29 fleet because of structural defects.

"I have read the report. But you must understand that MiG-29s are of various series. I don't know the details of what series of aircraft the Russians are talking about. We had carried out checks with our aircraft and we have no problem with them," Major told newsmen here.

He said the induction of new aircraft into the Air Force was going on "wonderfully well" as per schedule. "We are getting everything that we had asked for. There is government support and things are falling in place as per our plans."

Asked to comment on the crash of the indigenous Saras aircraft near Bangalore on March 6, Major said an enquiry was on and only after its completion could it be ascertained what went wrong. "But you must understand that this is a development aircraft. Such things do happen."

On the situation prevailing in Pakistan, he said it would affect India if it worsened. "But we are at a level of preparedness which is very high and there is nothing to worry about."

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