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JAGAN PILLARISETTI is an air war historian, author of two seminal books on India’s aerial conflicts in 1965 and 1971, […]
I am disappointed by all the oily "gunk" over the airframe. Yes, during operations choppers tend to get very dirty, and yes, we all know Air Force is lacking quality manpower these days.
But under any circumstance, oil residue should not be found on airframe, that points to carelessness and abandonment of duty on part of maintenance engineers.
It's HAL that holds the maintenance contracts for these planes. You can blame them for showing their infamous PSU-level maintenance.
Speaking of HAL, where is that medium-class helicopter they were bragging about making in partnership with Eurocopter for the past 5 years? Why are we replacing the outdated Mi-17 helicopter with even more Mi-17s from Russia? At least let Tata build Eurocopters under licence like they offered to if HAL can't take it.
Mi-17 is the best world in medium lifter and seems to me the most adequate for Indian conditionservice. Why they would change it to Eurocopter I wonder when all the world is moving towards more Mi-17.
What do you mean? The only countries that buy the military version of Mi-17 are poor ones like Afghanistan and North Korea because it's the cheapest helicopter in its class.
All the Western nations have switched to new model helicopters like the NH90, AW101, S-90 and so on.
Given how the aircrafts are maintained in ndia (this picture providing ample evidence) it might be better to avoid buying modern choppers like NH-90. Just imagine a HAL trained monkey trying to plug in the data cable and playing with the various electronic parameters.
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