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  India   All India  06 Jun 2018  Jaguar pilot evaluated MMRC aircraft too

Jaguar pilot evaluated MMRC aircraft too

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Jun 6, 2018, 12:58 am IST
Updated : Jun 6, 2018, 12:58 am IST

“The death of such a senior official proves the point that in the IAF the officer leads from the front,” said the source.

As part of the quest for the MMRCA, India has already inked a deal to buy 36 Rafale aircraft from France. (Photo: tejas.gov.in/Representational image)
 As part of the quest for the MMRCA, India has already inked a deal to buy 36 Rafale aircraft from France. (Photo: tejas.gov.in/Representational image)

New Delhi: One of the most experienced and senior IAF pilots to have passed away in a fighter plane crash, Air Commodore Sanjai Chauhan had flown every make of aircraft in IAF’s inventory and was also involved in the testing of the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) that India is seeking to buy.

“In the Jaguar alone, Air Commodore Chauhan had clocked more than 2,000 flying hours. There was not a single aircraft type in the IAF that he hadn’t flown. He was also involved in the evaluation of the MMRCA,” an IAF source told this newspaper on condition of anonymity.

 

As part of the quest for the MMRCA, India has already inked a deal to buy 36 Rafale aircraft from France. The original MMRCA requirement was for 126 aircraft to make for a shortage of fighter squadrons.

Air Commodore Chauhan’s Jaguar had taken off from the Jamnagar air base at about 10:30 am on Tuesday morning before crashing near a village in Gujarat’s Kutch.

The departed Air Commodore — the IAF equivalent of an army brigadier — was a test pilot with the mandate to fly and test out every IAF aircraft.

“The death of such a senior official proves the point that in the IAF the officer leads from the front,” said the source.

 

Jaguar is a deep strike fighter plane capable of carrying nuclear payload. An IAF spokesperson said the Jaguar was on a routine training mission and that an inquiry has been ordered.

On Tuesday, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, junior minister Subhash Bhamre, top ministry and military officials besides mediapersons who were present in a press conference to mark four years of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government observed one-minute silence to pray for the departed pilot.

 

Tags: mmrca, sanjai chauhan, iaf aircraft