Air Transportation: The Mismanaged Indian Chopper Fleet


August 10, 2010: The Indian Air Force is being criticized for mismanaging its fleet of over 300 helicopters. It gets worse when you realize that this is not enough helicopters for all of the needs of the Indian armed forces. But despite that, over ten percent of those helicopters are diverted to UN peacekeeping operations and for transporting VIPs (senior government officials). In addition, it's been publicized that helicopters are often assigned to fly the wives of senior air force officials. That, and maintenance problems, mean that only about 60 percent of the helicopter fleet is available for military needs.

It gets worse. Despite needing a third more helicopters, the helicopters are dying of old age. As in 78 percent of current choppers have exceeded their design life. The aging equipment was no secret, but the navy only began obtaining new helicopters in the last three years (and for the five years before that obtained none.)

Reforms are promised, but no one is holding their breath.




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