There is a lot more in store for Tamilnadu on the Air Force front was the message conveyed here this morning. Making the point, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Training Command) S R K Nair said the Sukhoi squadron air base would be established in about two to three years.
He was addressing mediapersons today after briefing about President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the Tambaram Air Force Station on 3 March. Currently, we are in the process of acquiring Sukhoi aircraft; once we have them in good numbers the base will be ready, he said.
He also said chances of establishing many more airbases in Tamilnadu were less likely as there were already enough of them here. The presence of airbases at Sulur, Arakkonam, Tambaram was enough to cater to the needs here, he said, and added that they were looking towards establishing radar sites in the State.
Saying that there were about 3,500 trainees housed at Tambaram Air Force Station, they do envisage enhancing the training capacity here as the need for it would arise.
Speaking about the AN 32 incident where a plane carrying Air Force personnel from Tambaram Air Force Station disappeared in the recent past, he said the mishap more likely took place due to weather conditions and not due to the issues caused by lack of spare parts.
They were able to do away all the reasons that led to paucity in availability of spare parts, he reminded.
He also said they were conducting daily checks on emergency locator transmitter (ELT) equipment fit on the plane to ensure its proper functioning when asked that the ELT equipment failed to work when the plane met with the mishap owing to which difficulty arose in tracking the plane.
He also said they would begin induction of Apache helicopters by July 2019 which would boost the capabilities of Indian Air Force. They intend to take up the number of squadrons in the Air Force to 42 from the present 33 with the aim of boosting performance.