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IAF's third AWACS expected to arrive in December

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A file photo of IL-76 Phalcon

NEW DELHI (PTI): Government has said the delivery of third AWACS aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) is expected by December this year.

India had signed a contract with Israel in 2004 for supplying three Phalcon airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, of which the first two have been already delivered.

"Delivery of the third aircraft is planned for December 2010," Defence Minister A K Antony said in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

He said additional AWACS would be procured by India under the 12th, 13th and 14th Plans and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) was also developing an indigenous system for the IAF.

In reply to another query, the Minister said 48.3 per cent of the accidents in the IAF were due to technical defects, 37.9 per cent were due to human error and 8.6 per cent were caused by bird hits.

Answering another query, Antony said 160 Army soldiers participated in Exercise Shatrujeet at Camp Pendleton, California from April 1-19 this year.

Replying to another query, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the Hindustan Shipyard limited had accumulated losses of Rs 987.43 crore as on March 31 last year and the Government was processing a proposal for its financial restructuring.

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