NEW DELHI: There is a shortage of certain Russian-origin spare parts of AN-32 transport aircraft due to strained relations between Russia and Ukraine, the government said Monday.
In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has 98 AN-32 aircraft and none has outlived its operational life. "More than half of Indian Air Force's AN-32 aircraft have been upgraded with a structural upgrade as well as installation of advanced avionics such as radar, radio sets, navigation system etc and the remaining are under upgradation in a phased manner. The serviceability of the fleet has been at par with other fleets. There is a shortage of certain spares of Russian origin due to strained relations between Russia and Ukraine," he said.
Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 following which the ties between the two nations strained. In response to another question, he said 500 terrorists were killed in counter-terrorist (CT), counter infiltration (CI) and terrorist initiated incidents (TII) in 2017 and 2018.
In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Naik said 235 and 265 terrorists were killed in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Eighty-five Army personnel died in "battle casualties" in 2017 and 2018, he said. Jammu and Kashmir saw 131 terrorists initiated incidents in 2017 and 318 in 2018, he added.
Replying to another query on transportation along the China border, he said the development of strategic infrastructure along border areas is undertaken in a holistic and comprehensive manner to include the construction of roads, strategic railway lines, tunnels to ensure all-weather connectivity and to enhance defence preparedness along the border.
Accordingly, a revised 'Long Term Roll on Works Plan' of Border Roads Organisation for five years (2018-19 to 2022-23) has been formulated for construction/improvement of 272 roads of length 14,545 kilometres. "Out of these 272 roads, 61 roads of length 3323.57 kilometres have been identified as strategic. Work has been completed on 2304.65 kilometres and work on balance stretches is in progress. Further, in addition to meeting the operational requirement, the above-mentioned roads on completion would also enhance accessibility to border areas where the border infrastructure and forward connectivity is lacking," he said.