Training tableau theme even as IAF’s basic trainer stays groundedJanuary 19th, 2010 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) will be showcasing its training and development of frontline air warriors in its tableau at the Republic Day parade this year, though the fleet of its basic trainer aircraft HPT-32 remains grounded.
The theme of the IAF tableau this year is “The nation’s finest, We train the hardest”. However, the HPT-32 remains grounded since last year following a series of engine failures and loss of young pilots.
“A team is currently evaluating the reasons behind the HPT-32 crashes. A decision will be taken based on that,” Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Space) Air Vice Marshal M. Matheshwaran told reporters here.
“There are various elements to IAF training. There may be temporary setbacks but other elements of training continue. Our training is not in disarray,” he said.
HPT-32 is the basic trainer aircraft and young pilots are first trained on it. Usually around 140-150 cadets of the flying branch are trained on the HPT-32 and then they graduate to the intermediate flight and weapons training aircraft Surya Kiran.
However, with the initial trainer being grounded, cadets are now directly being trained on the Surya Kirans affecting the training schedule.
In 2008, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India said the IAF is facing an acute shortage of efficient pilots after failing to impart quality training. It attributed the discontinuity in training to lack of adequate state-of-the-art training aircraft with the IAF.
Matheshwaran said this year, a total of 28 airplanes including four helicopters of Indian Army will figure in the flypast at the parade. The fighter aircraft will include Jaguar, MiG-29, and Sukhoi while the IL-78 and AN-32 transport aircraft and the newly acquired Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) will also figure.
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Tags: acute shortage, adequate state, air staff, air vice marshal, air warriors, art training, assistant chief, awacs, cag of india, discontinuity, engine failures, fighter aircraft, flypast, indian air force, indian army, republic day, space air, staff space, trainer aircraft, weapons training