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Indian Def ministry asks IAF to expedite probe into Su-30MKI crash

Su-30MKI aircraft

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Defence ministry on Wednesday said it was surprised over the crash of one of the frontline Su-30MKI aircraft, which are the latest and most-advanced war planes in IAF inventory, and has asked the service to expedite its inquiry into the incident.

"I am surprised that an aircraft of this type has crashed... We will certainly look into the reasons for this. A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been order to look into the reasons behind the crash," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told reporters here.

The Minister was asked to comment on the air crash involving the Su-30MKI aircraft took place on Tuesday near Pune.

Meanwhile, sources said Defence Minister A K Antony has expressed "serious concern" over the crash and has asked IAF to expedite the inquiry to ascertain the reasons behind it.

The Ministry is also likely to hold a review of the flight safety measures taken by the IAF.

In a similar meeting held in November, the IAF had briefed the Minister about the steps taken by the service to bring down the number of crashes.

Sources said though the HAL and the IAF have the domain knowledge of the aircraft and its systems, if there is a requirement, the help of Russian Original Equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can also be taken.

The Su-30 fighter aircraft were inducted into the IAF in the late 90s and the advanced 'MKI' version of the planes started being inducted in the early part of the millennium and are considered to be new in service.

The particular aircraft which crashed on Tuesday was built in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The aircraft had taken off from the Lohegaon airbase on a routine mission, presumably developed a technical snag and crashed at Wade Bholai village, about 20 km from Pune. Both the pilots ejected to safety.

The jet crashed at 1.30 pm, around 50 minutes after it took off, officials said.

This is the third time a Sukhoi fighter plane crashed since their induction into the IAF.


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