Hyderabad airshow crash a wake-up call?

March 4, 2010


It was a promise that Lt Cdr Rahul Nair could not keep. Some months ago, Nair had promised to return home soon to sample his mother’s cooking.

On Wednesday, Nair and fellow pilot Cdr S.K. Maurya lost their lives during the Indian Aviation 2010 air show in Hyderabad.

The pilots, having more than a thousand flying hours to their credit, were flying the Kiran MkII aircraft, which was inducted in the armed forces in the 1980s.

Post the crash, the Indian navy has grounded the fleet of 20 Kiran trainer aircraft.

The crash has left many concerned over the safety of these big birds used by our armed forces, let alone whether they are completely functional and serviceable for a war.

Since last year, at least 13 defence aircraft have crashed, killing 16 security personnel. As a nation, do we attach no value to human life?

Defence expert C. Uday Bhaskar writes in one of his reports “vintage aircrafts that have been assigned a place of pride in museums abroad are still flown by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy”.

The question that many raise now is — even though a mammoth amount is allocated for defence spending in the budget each year, why aren’t these obsolete machines updated?

Defence experts explicitly point fingers at the nexus of politicians and bureaucrats for the delays in procurement of French Scorpene submarines, INS Vikramaditya, Arjun tanks, self propelled wheeled artillery and ultra light howitzer guns.

Many also feel that since India has the second largest army in the world and with troubled borders on both its eastern and western frontiers, the government must be more sensitive to the needs of the defence forces.

Is the Indian politician ignorant when it comes to the needs of a modern army? Are politicians and bureaucrats just the ones to be blamed?


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Is that really so? Our leaders should feel ashamed of themselves for wasting the country’s monetary resources on unsuccessful projects rather than spending it to make sure our soldiers are safe and healthy!

Posted by Saanya | Report as abusive

I am sure this incident will also remain a close door investigations to adorn some classified ‘for your eyes only’ chest in Defense headquarters. We need to wakeup as a Nation to such issues.We can not be a strong Force in times of crisis if we do not respond to it now.

Posted by viga | Report as abusive

This incident shows that how prepared we are for any eventuality. Our defense equipment is outdated as well as not upto the required standard. We need cutting edge technology to keep pace with the changing trends in South Asia.http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Weide r-X-Factor-Review&id=3860999

Posted by rafmarcus | Report as abusive

dis is the same old pathetic story of Indian Defense… I am not sure for how many year we are going to see such news everytime… We are one among very few countries with a very hefty budget for defense…… Ultimate price is always paid by the flag bearer or the common man…
Salute to both the pilots, May god rest there soul in peace and give strength to there families !!!!

Posted by richa022sept | Report as abusive

Ex. and Current army generals hinder any indigenous development of defence equipment to pocket big commission from foreign defence supplies. They do this by sabotaging user trials ( This happened with Arjun Tanks). They change the requirements in the middle of development several times so that no one can work in peace( This happened with LCA). Commission is not enough for them now, they have even started selling Armys lands for private party’s.

Posted by rcv | Report as abusive

I hope that India wakes up and smell the danger that lingers around this this country. China is not waiting, Pakistan is not waiting. As a matter of fact, Pakistan military is being upgraded as we write by America with the most advance military equipment. What is India waiting for. Is India waiting to send its men and women to heir death in a conflict with Pakistan and/or China.

India, please help your people.Wake up!

Posted by West1662 | Report as abusive

Wake up emotional citizens….A military officer is a person who does his job of protecting the nation till the death…..The job we do is risky and that is a FACT. ACCEPT IT. A person cant do risky jobs only when situation demands {WAR} ..he has to be trained for it. FOR ex commercial aircrafts are made aerodynamically stable unlike fighters which are made intentionally unstable to carry out risky maneuvers. As rightly said SWEAT MORE IN PEACE TO BLEAD LESS IN WAR….. Those pilots were well trained pilots , capable enough to take on enemy anytime…To maintain that confidence all the three wings of the armed forces be it ARMY AIRFORCE OR NAVY training and exercises and these are as dangerous as the real war. Coming to your question…. there is something called DPM Defense procurement Manual which if defense follows takes a year atleast to do the paper work only to procure a small item. The delay is not within defense …we can do paper work in a day…but unfortunately most of the financial powers UNLIKE IAS rests with IFAs ( Integrated Financial Authority) and their job is do nothing but to FINGER.. ..so a small project costing few lakhs takes an year to complete forget about bigger projects which goes to senior IAS officers (although juniors than chiefs of the armed forces} who pass only 10 percent of the projects or may be less and rest goes to their DUST BINS….




2. FINANCIAL powers must be given to defense officers to purchase defense equipment as they know what is the best to buy and they know ultimately they are the only ones who will BET THEIR LIFE on those equipment.



Posted by richa022sept | Report as abusive

Lack of strategic thinking among the politicians was highlighted in General K. Sundarji’s ‘Blind Men of Hindustan”. Since he wrote the book practically nothing has changed.

Posted by VipulTripathi | Report as abusive


The prototype of the naval variant of Tejas aircraft is being built for aircraft carrier. The project has lagged behind its schedule due to various requirements connected with the development of a new aircraft.

Deficiencies have been detected in the airframe and other associated equipment of the aircraft. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working out modalities with various organisations for rectifying these deficiencies by suitable modifications to the engine / airframe design.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Dr. Gyan Prakash Pilania and Shri Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi in Rajya Sabha today.

Posted by Bhatia.R | Report as abusive

So far only one aircraft has been ingeniously designed and produced in India. That was as far back as 1961 when the first HF 24 prototype took to the air. Since then we are still developing an aircraft to see operational service and join the Air Force. Someone here says the generals have held this up???? That is funny.

How absurd can you get? If it takes almost 50 years to design and produce another fighter, do you think that requirements of the services will stand still? Air Power and for that matter, military doctrines and machines are changing rapidly everywhere, except in Bharat where Defense Production Units are seen more as employment generating agencies rather than national security priorities.

What the Defence Minister has not said is how long back were the deficiencies noticed and how much longer will it take for the various organisations to rectify these. He will not say so because it may take up-to generations, if ever. Security is not a priority anymore in this country. There is no one in authority who understands or has the vision to look ahead or even remotely keep abreast of global defense related issues. If you want to observe Babudom at its best – or worst – observe the working of the Defence Ministry.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive