NEW DELHI: In the wake of a recent crash near Pune, the Indian Air Force has grounded its entire frontline fighter fleet of Sukhoi-30 and each aircraft is undergoing a thorough technical check.
The fleet of about 200 twin-engine Su-30s would be back in air only when they are cleared by the technical review, according to IAF. An expert team of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is also expected to join the investigation into the fighter crash.
“Flying of Su-30 fleet has been temporarily suspended. The court of inquiry is in progress and specific checks are being conducted on the aircraft. Once the checks are completed and the CoI is satisfied, Su-30s will be back in operation,” said IAF spokesperson Wing Commander SS Birdi.
On October 14, a Sukhoi-30 MKI had crashed in a field near Pune, and preliminary findings had suggested a technical problem in the fly-by-wire system as the cause and not pilot error. The grounded fleet represents almost a third of the country’s fighter plane fleet. The IAF has a fleet of 200 Sukhoi aircraft.