Indian Air Force (IAF) lost 26 fighter jets in the last five years killing 12 pilots and seven other crew members.
IAF’s crash report card of the last five years shows that seven fighters each were lost in 2014-15 and 2018-19 and another six in 2016-17. Two years — 2015-16 and 2017-18 — were by far the best years in recent times. In 2015-16, four aircraft were lost and only two accidents took place in 2017-18.
If the crashes involving helicopters, trainers, and transporters are included then the losses go up to 37, according to the crash details shared by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the Parliament.
A breakdown of numbers show, six helicopters, nine trainers and three transport aircraft were lost.
A dozen pilots also lost their lives in these accidents up to 2019.
The total loss of lives in these accidents, however is 46. As seven aircrew and 27 service personnel also died in crashes.
The IAF depleting squadron strength is down to 30 from 42, which has been a major worry for many years.
The IAF is coping with an ageing fleet but high rate of crashes puts a question mark on the training aspects as well.
See details: INDIA Lost 264 aircraft from 2000 to 2015
Indian Air Force was founded on 8 October 1932. According to Bharat rakshak IAF Aircraft Accidents Database.
In the last 86 years IAF has lost a total of 1707 Aircraft during combat and crashed incidents
According to figures released by the Ministry of Defence in March 2013. The IAF was losing the equivalent of one fighter squadron (approximately 18 fighters) in accidents every two years
Why the Indian Air Force has a high crash rate?
Reasons for these crashes are human errors (Shoddy maintenance), Outdated spares, Obsolete air-frames, and System Malfunctions.