Navy’s Sea Harriers Airborne Again

Less than a week after the Navy lost a committed young pilot Lt Cdr Saurav Saxena in a Sea Harrier fighter crash off the coast of Goa, the fleet was made airborne again today, sources confirmed. In what seems to me to be a true tribute to the memory of the young pilot, the Navy went through the motions and began Sea Harrier flights earlier today.

Coincidentally, when Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta was asked this afternoon about (erroneous) reports that the Harrier fleet had been grounded following the August 21 crash, he thundered, “Who has grounded them? Have you grounded them? I certainly have not.” Obviously he’s right. The fleet was never grounded. No recommendation was made by the Navy in Goa to HQ to effect grounding of the fleet, simply because they are thorough professionals. Nobody wants a knee-jerk grounding without understanding precisely what made the aircraft go down. After any crash, there is an default period — the length of which varies — of no flight for the type, during which a laid-down routine of specific tests are conducted. This is not the same as grounding the fleet, a far more serious decision whenever it is taken. The checks conducted during the post-crash period may lead to a recommendation for fleet grounding, but in this case it did not happen, thankfully. Grounding a fleet is an unnerving, difficult decision on any military commander.

Godspeed to our Naval aviators and their beautiful birds. Shano Varun.

3 thoughts on “Navy’s Sea Harriers Airborne Again”

  1. Sigh. Might as well ground the Sea Harriers for all the 'capability' they bring to us. These STOL/VTOL toy aircrafts will nver work for us. We NEED a nuclear powered, electromagnetic catapault platform to launch and recover Su30-MKI size fighters.

  2. read this and many of us will shocked .like me:
    The Military expenditure of United States is down from 713,100,000,000 dollar for 2009 to 636,292,979,000 dollar for 2010.
    Is this real decline in Defense Spending?
    Answer is No.
    Because Military expenditure of United States includes the spending on Homeland Security,Costs of American wars overseas and federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense(money actually used to buy and used in R&D).
    The Budget allocation is as follows:

    1. Homeland Security: $52 billion
    2. Department of Defense: $284 billion (which have slight increase from 2009)
    3. Costs of American wars overseas: $300,284,145,000 (nearly 100 billion dollar in decrease due to end of Iraq War deployment.)

    Costs of American wars overseas:This includes War in Afghanistan (2001?present), Military Aid to Israel,Egypt ,Pakistan and many other countries,maintenance of overseas deployed troop and equipment like in Japan,South Korea and Germany.

    Is military expenditures of other countries is nothing in front of Military expenditure of United States?
    Answer is No.
    For instance a third world country,India will spend 32,700,000,000 dollar for 2010 Defense Budget.
    Comparing Military expenditure of India with Military expenditure of United States might not be right. Because India uses its low labor cost and low material cost to increase its Military expenditure. T-90S Bhishma of the Indian Army on display
    T-90S Bhishma of the Indian Army on display

    By licensed production of military equipment and locally developing military equipment.For Example, Indian made T-90s cost $2.9 million each but Russian made T-90s cost $3.5 million each. By licensed production of T-90 Indian saved nearly half million dollar for each T-90.This is due to low labor cost and low material cost in India.HAL Dhruv manufactured by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) cost INR30-35 core or 6-7 million dollar whereas similar chopper in U.S. cost 9-11 million dollar.This is due to low labor cost and low material cost.Similarly,operating Indian equipment is also cheap as lower personnel costs.For Example, American M-1s cost from $14-$23 per kilometer to operate due to higher personnel costs whereas Indian T-90 cost INR 65 or about one dollar per kilometer to operate. This way India has brought its military expenditure in as purchasing power parity which is making it nearly double.

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