Only 60% Indian Air Force Aircraft’s fit to fly: report

India’s armed forces look good on paper. However, much of its weaponry is, in fact, outdated or ill maintained, reported The Economist.

“Our air defence is in a shocking state”, the report quoted Ajai Shukla, a commentator on military affairs, as saying.

He said, “What’s in place is mostly 1970s vintage, and it may take ten years to install the fancy new gear.”

Economist report said that on paper, India’s air force is the world’s fourth largest, with around 2,000 aircraft in service. But an internal report seen in 2014 by IHS Jane’s, a defence publication, revealed that only 60% were typically fit to fly.

The report quoted another earlier report this year by a government accounting agency estimated that the “serviceability” of the 45 MiG 29K jets that are the pride of the Indian navy’s air arm ranged between 16% and 38%.

They were intended to fly from the carrier currently under construction, which was ordered more than 15 years ago and was meant to have been launched in 2010. According to the government’s auditors the ship, after some 1,150 modifications, now looks unlikely to sail before 2023.

The report said that India’s armed forces look good on paper. It fields the world’s second-biggest standing army, after China, with long fighting experience in a variety of terrains and situations. Yet there are serious chinks in India’s armour. Much of its weaponry is, in fact, outdated or ill maintained.

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