BSF aircraft to be upgraded; Home Ministry sanctions Rs 11 cr

BSF aircraft to be upgraded; Home Ministry sanctions Rs 11 cr

Hard-pressed with growing demands for urgent air services, the Home Ministry has decided to upgrade the Border Security Force's two ageing Avro aircraft and sanctioned Rs 11 crore for it.

The Russian-built aircraft, originally inducted into BSF in early 1980s, are often being grounded due to technical snags and hence required urgent technical upgradation.

"Considering the growing demands for air services, we have decided for the avionic upgradation the two aircraft and sanctioned Rs 11.21 crore for it," a Home Ministry official said.

The upgradation will be carried out by the Bangalore- based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with the help of Russian technology.

The aircraft and helicopters of the BSF air wing are frequently used for transportation and deployment of troops in emergency situation, especially in Naxal-affected states.

The aircraft are also used for transportation of ration, evacuation of injured troops and those affected by natural calamities.

The BSF maintains a fleet of five Dhruv helicopters, one Embraer and two Avro aircraft. Six Mi-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force are also being run by the BSF.

In addition, the Home Ministry is in the process of acquiring nearly a dozen Mi-17 V5 armed choppers which will be maintained by the BSF.

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