IAF lost 40 planes, 45 lives lost in 3 years: Antony

"During the last three years (February 1, 2008 to February 17, 2011), 16 pilots, 24 service personnel and five civilians have died in 40 air crashes reported in Indian Air Force (IAF) in the last three years," Defence Minister A K Antony said while replying to a written question.

The Defence Minister said every accident was thoroughly investigated by a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to ascertain the cause of the accident and remedial measures are taken accordingly to check their recurrence.

"IAF has taken various measures relating to strengthening the aviation safety organisation, streamlining of accident reporting procedure to identify vulnerable areas and institute remedial measures to reduce aircraft accidents," he added.

On the collision of the Navy's frigate INS Vindhyagiri off Mumbai harbour, he said "a Board of Inquiry has been ordered by the Indian Navy. The reason for the collision and details of damage sustained and losses suffered will be established on completion of the Board of Inquiry", Antony said.

On the recent crash involving an Indian army helicopter near Nasik on February 2, the Defence Minister said "the loss to private property and to the government will be ascertained in the CoI."

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