Kolkata: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is facing a challenge on how to deal with its obsolete assets at a time when modern aircrafts are getting inducted to its fleet. It is now looking for solutions from the private sectors to take care of its vintage assets.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Maintenance Command) of the IAF Air Marshal R K S Shera highlighted the challenge while addressing National Seminar and Exhibition on ‘Indian Aviation Sector: Opportunities and Challenges' organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Friday.
He said, "We have a challenge in the IAF. As you are all aware, we are operating a mix of inventory. We have legacy machines which are 60 years' old and we have got the state-of-the-art ones also. For example, the Avro aircrafts which fly is a vintage of 60. Today we have got the C-130 and C-17 aircrafts."
Air Marshal Shera elaborated, "Soon we will have C-295 from the Airbus. So this is a kind of technology which we have to handle from the vintage one to the state-of-the-art. So the scenario is that there is a huge requirement of taking care of our obsolence and that is where we need a lot of industry partners to find good solutions to mitigate our obsolence as far as the technological issues are concerned."
He added, "We have set up technology centres in our base repair depots. These technology centres are constantly looking at obsolence mitigation requirements. They are looking at the spares' non-availability."
On the IAF need for a variety of aircrafts' inductions, Air Marshal Shera observed, "As far as the military aviation is concerned, we have huge requirement of aircrafts which are to come up in the next 10 to 20 years. Many of them will be new aircrafts in addition to a number of UAVs and drones. Thus the requirement of the overhaul will go up."
He explained, "Plus there will be production technology, automation, simulation and upgradation. So it is not only the number of aircrafts which are going to be increased, it will be complex technology which will come to our country for which we need the right kind of academia and human resources."