IAF to induct over 230 choppers

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 04:24 hrs

Bangalore: Modernising its fleet of helicopters, the Indian Air Force on Thursday said it was looking to acquire more than 230 choppers in the near future.

Addressing a press conference at the Aero India, Air Chief marshal P V Naik said the force is in the process of acquiring helicopters of different types and size in the next couple of years.

"We are acquiring 12 AW 101 VVIP helicopters, trials for 22 attack choppers are completed, 80 Mi-17 IV helicopters are being inducted and 50 odd would be added in near future, trials for 12 heavy-lift choppers are also in the final stage and would be completed soon," he said.

Naik said the Field Evaluation Trials (FETs) for procuring 197 helicopters for the Army and the Navy were also over and the report was expected to be submitted to it in the next couple of weeks. Of the 197, the IAf would receive over 55 helicopters.

For the attack helicopters, Russian Mi-28 and American Apache 64 D Longbow are facing each other and the IAF chief said the trials were over and a report in this regard was expected in the next two weeks.

Under the LUH programme, the Army has conducted trials of the Russian Ka-226 and the Eurocopter Fennec and would send its report to the IAF soon.

Commenting on the reports suggesting that US would offer high end technology to India, the IAF chief said these reports should be taken "with a pinch of salt" as it was not known to whom such offers were made by the Americans.

On the upgrades to be carried out on the Su-30MKI, the IAf chief said the aircraft would have state-of-the-art equipment and the HAL, DRDO and Russian manufactures were involved in the development of AESA radar also for the air superiority fighter.

AESA radar is the most modern radar and is also one of the IAF's requirements for networking its assets and sensors.

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