T he Indian Air Force (IAF) will after all be conducting tests on its MiG-29 fighter aircraft to satisfy safety concerns according to PTI. The agency quoted Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance command as saying, “The IAF will conduct ultra sound examination of certain components of the MiG-29 at 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD) of the force.”
This comes after the Russian Air Force grounded its fleet of the war planes following detection of defects in them, after two crashes, as first reported by StratPost.
Air Marshal Nayyar confirmed corrosion on some parts of the MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
The Indian Navy too had taken cognizance of the situation and has decided to delay procurement of the forty-five MiG-29K (Naval Variant) aircraft on order until Russian authorities have sorted out all outstanding problems.
“We want them to get their systems in order before we take on the aircraft,” one Naval source told StratPost, who also indicated the Indian Navy had sent a team to bring back the first delivery of the aircraft but had decided against it, keeping in mind the prevailing situation.
The Russian Aircraft Corporation that produces the aircraft has issued a statement earlier denying doubts as to the the air-worthiness of the aircraft.
“The Indian Air Force, which has been operating MiG-29s for over 20 years, has three operational squadrons with the type. According to well informed sources, the IAF has its own system of regular maintenance and stringent technical checks and its MiG-29s continue in frontline service even as the upgradation programme is underway in Russia. Apart from this, in January 2009 RAC “MiG”, for the purpose of prompt notification of the IAF, forwarded a methodic for inspection of critical zones of the aircraft fins.
As concerns the new MiG-29K / KUB carrier-based aircraft, these have been designed and produced in full consideration of the maritime conditions in which they will be operated. These aircraft have been suitably ‘marinised’ and there is no question of any defects in the airframe structure even during the aircraft long term storage,” said the statement.