The IAF had lost another AN-32 aircraft, which crashed near a village in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, killing all the 13 defence personnel in the mishap in 2009. (File Photo)
In wake of the Arunachal Pradesh crash, the Indian Air Force is likely to take the AN-32s off duty for crucial missions, a latest media report said on Saturday. The Hindustan Times’ report said that the decision to stop using the twin-engine planes may become a reality soon due to safety concerns. The Arunachal Pradesh crash that killed all 13 onboard is third such incident involving the AN-32. This means that the Russian-origin planes won’t be deployed in missions that involve flying over hilly regions or seas. Instead, the Indian Air Force may now use C295 aircraft for operations, the HT report said while quoting an official.
The report also mentions that the air force is actively looking to phase out the vintage AN-32s with the Airbus’ aircraft. It would cost the IAF around $2.5 billion to buy 56 C295 aircraft from the Airbus.
“The Airbus C295 is a new generation tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment. It is robust and reliable but also highly versatile in terms of the number of different missions it can perform,” says the official website of the defence manufacturing giant.
“The C295 conducts multi-role operations worldwide under all weather conditions. It is fully certified and routinely operates day and night in combat missions in all weather extremes, from desert to maritime environments, from extremely hot to extremely cold temperatures,” the site says while listing out C295 features.
The wreckage of the IAF aircraft was found Tuesday in Lipo locality of Arunachal Pradesh, the IAF said on Tuesday. The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft lost contact on the afternoon of June 3 after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China. The wreckage of the aircraft has been located in an area called Lipo, the IAF said.
The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft was going from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China on June 3 when it lost contact with ground staff at 1 pm, within 33 minutes of taking off. The IAF launched a massive operation after the aircraft went missing but the search was badly hit due to poor weather conditions.