Indian Air Force’s (IAF) transport aircraft AN-32 will continue flying in the mountains as there is no replacement as of now, said Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Monday here.
Addressing a press conference here, ACM Dhanoa said, “We will continue to fly AN-32 as there is no replacement,” adding that Forces is in the process of getting a more advanced aircraft and once IAF gets the modern aircraft, “we will put them to the critical roles and AN32 would be used for Rountine transport role (RTR) and training.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the AN-32 went missing on June 3 in Arunachal Pradesh after taking off from Jorhat Air Force station in Assam. The IAF team located the wreckage on June 11 on a slope of mountain in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Russian-origin aircraft was inducted into IAF in 1980s. However, the upgradation of the transport aircraft is being done.
“Like Avro, which is now around 55 years old and it is not going to the valley as it has become an old aircraft, he said. Similarly, when the new aircraft will come it will take the role and AN-32 will be taken off, right now we don’t have a choice so AN-32 will continue,” he said.
On 22 July 2016, an Antonov An-32 twin engine turboprop transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force disappeared while flying over the Bay of Bengal.
The aircraft was en route from Tambaram Air Force Station in the city of Chennai on the western coastline of the Bay of Bengal to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There were 29 people on board.