The Indian Air Force (IAF) may soon assemble another 50 Mi-17 helicopters at its base repair depot (BRD) in Chandigarh. The BRDs come under the IAF's Maintenance Command, which is headquartered at Nagpur.
"So far we have successfully assembled 80 helicopters at the BRD in Chandigarh. There are plans to take up the job for another batch of 50 soon," said Air-Officer-Commanding-in-Chief of the Maintenance Command Air Marshal P Kanakraj while talking to newspersons on the sidelines of the Nagpur air show.
He said there has been considerable progress in indigenization of spares for the helicopters. For certain older versions, the IAF has been able to make as much as 95% of the spares on its own.
Similarly, IAF has also taken up the job to overhaul SU30 fighter planes. However, it is still at an initial stage, with only 5 to 10% of the job being done here. However, Kanakraj hopes for an improvement in the coming days.
Normally, public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) does the job of assembling aircraft. But recently even the IAF has diversified into this field, starting with helicopters. So far, even the overhaul of SU30s was done by HAL, which makes the aircraft, but due to the increasing workload, IAF has taken up a part of the job. - Times of india