Forty-one AN-32 transport aircraft require upgrade in advanced avionics, navigation and communication equipment and the process to do so should be over by 2024-25, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.
In a written response to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Defence Ministry Shripad Naik said the AN-32 aircraft is the workhorse of the IAF transport fleet and is used to sustain troops in far flung areas of northeast India.
"Forty-one aircraft in the AN-32 fleet of IAF require upgradation in advanced avionics, navigation and communication equipment. The upgradation programme of AN-32 is under progress, which is planned to be completed by 2024-25," Naik said.
"All AN-32 aircraft presently have useful residual life and are fully air worthy."
There are 53 upgraded AN-32 aircraft in the fleet and aircraft distribution and deployment is as per existing operational requirements across the country, he said in response to another question.
Last month, an AN-32 aircraft crashed in Arunachal Pradesh, killing 13 Air Force personnel.
Replying to a question on One Rank, One Pension scheme, Naik said a committee was constituted on June 14 under the chairmanship of Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) to work out the modalities and methodology of implementation of next revision of pension under OROP programme.
In response to another question on ceasefire violations by Pakistan, he said 1,629 cases of CFVs were reported in 2018, while 1,299 cases were recorded this year until June.
"Appropriate retaliation to the ceasefire violations, as required, has been carried out by Indian Army. Also, all violations of ceasefire and infiltrations are taken up with Pakistan authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings, Directorate Generals of Military Operations talks as well as diplomatic channels between the two countries," he said.
Replying to another question, he said there is a gap between operational and existing strength of ordnance factories, resulting in an operational vacancy of 27,763 against operational strength of 1,10,000.
Out of these vacancies, about 87.5 per cent posts are technical in nature, he said.