This Article is From May 15, 2012

Parliament panel voices concern to Russian lawmakers over MIG crashes

Parliament panel voices concern to Russian lawmakers over MIG crashes
New Delhi: Members of a parliamentary panel cutting across party lines today expressed serious concern over crashes involving MiG aircraft and the cost overruns in the refit of aircraft carrier naval ship Admiral Gorshkov during a meeting with a Russian parliamentary delegation.

The delegation of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security assured the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence to provide details of crashes involving MiG aircraft across the world in the last 15 years.

"They will send the details in the next 15 days for us to analyse the crash rate of MiG fighters across the globe," a member said.

The Russian delegation was led by R G Iskuzhin and had MPs and advisors and consultants to the committee as its members.

Over 20 countries, including India and China, operate MiG fighters.

Some members, including Manish Tewari (Cong) and T K Rangarajan (CPI-M), are learnt to have raised concerns over cost overruns in refitting Admiral Gorshkov which will be the second aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. It will be rechristened as INS Vikramaditya.

India operates various variants of MiG 21, MiG 27 and MiG 29. The Navy has recently inducted MiG 29 K series of fighters to operate from its aircraft carriers INS Viraat and INS Vikramaditya is likely to be inducted by the end of this year.

According to a recent statement of Defence Minister A K Antony, of the 1,303 MiG series fighter aircraft, including 872 MiG 21 purchased by the government, a total of 482 planes have crashed till now, killing 171 pilots and 39 civilians.

On the induction of Gorshkov, the delegation said the ship will be inducted as per schedule.

India hopes to induct the vessel on December 4 this year in Russia and it will sail to the country's shores in 2013.

India and Russia had signed a deal in 2004 for the aircraft carrier which will arrive in the country after a delay of four years.