The contract with Ukraine for upgradation of the Indian Air Force’s An-32 transport aircraft has not been terminated, parliament was informed on Monday.
“Out of 105 AN-32 aircraft planned for upgradation, 55 aircraft have been upgraded – 40 aircraft at Kiev, Ukraine and 15 aircraft at 1 BRD (Rase Repair Depot), Kanpur,” Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
Upgradation of the remaining aircraft was planned in a phased manner depending upon the supply of kits by Ukraine, he said.
Naik said equipment fitted on the An-32 aircraft was functional and serviceable on all aircraft that were flying.
“All transport aircraft in IAF cleared for flying are fully airworthy,” he added.
This comes days after the Indian Air Force on Saturday evening retrieved all the 15 members of the search and rescue team engaged in the search of the AN-32 aircraft who got stranded in the crash site along the Indo-China border.
On June 3, an IAF AN-32 carrier aircraft with 13 people (eight aircrew and five passengers) onboard took off from Air Force Station, Jorhat, Assam for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground.
Once the aircraft did not report at the destination, overdue actions were initiated. In coordination with Indian Army, various government and civil agencies, IAF commenced extensive search operations under the direct supervision of Head Quarters Eastern Air Command.
On June 11 the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted 16 km North of Lipo, North East of Tato, Arunachal Pradesh at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter.
Following this, it was established that no officer on board had survived the crash.
(With inputs from IANS)