TAMIL NADU

‘AN-32 robust enough to achieve remarkable feats’

Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: A two-day AN-32 operators conference for the operators of the AN-32 aircraft began at 43 Wing, Air Force Station, Sulur, on Thursday.

Air Marshal S. Radhakrishnan, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command inaugurated the conference.

With the changing scenario in the Southern peninsula, the operation of the AN-32, that had remained the mainstay workhorse of the IAF, assumed even higher significance, he said.

Aim

“The conference is aimed to provide a suitable platform for all specialists and operators to discuss the challenges involved in the day-to-day operations of the aircraft,” the Air Marshal observed.

Air Marshal P.V. Athawale, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, Maintenance Command, said the operators of the aircraft had been efficient and ingenious in keeping it fly worthy.

“They have alleviated discomforts and peculiar problems that have risen by providing appropriate solutions”.

“The aircraft, being in existence for 22 to 24 years, even today has the resilience, robustness and strength to achieve a remarkable feat of landing in Leh-Ladakh at 16,200 ft, which is the highest landing strip in the world,” Air Marshal Athawale said.

New systems

Nearly 75 per cent of the aircraft in the fleet were approaching Total Technical Calendar Life during 2009-10. IAF was negotiating a contract with Spets Techno Expert, Ukraine, for operating it beyond 25 years.

During upgradation, some new systems were expected to be introduced.

The life extension and upgradation work would be undertaken at 1 Base Repair Depot, and in Ukraine.

Functional areas

Group Captain B.K. Dash, Station Commander, 43 Wing, touched upon the functional areas pertaining to AN-32 that would be discussed in the conference.

Operators of the aircraft from the IAF and specialists from supporting agencies like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification, Indian Oil Corporation, etc., are attending.

Air Vice Marshal Rajinder Singh, Senior Air Staff Officer, Southern Air Command, would preside over the valediction on November 21.

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