Sun, Sep 07, 2003
Nicks Found In Turbine Blades
The Indian Air Force
Saturday grounded an entire squadron of Russian-built Sukhoi
fighters after mechanics found nicks in some of their turbine
blades. Now, India is threatening to cancel its entire Su-30
program unless Russia extends warranties on the aircraft.
The Hindu Daily reports Indian government officials
have demanded that the blades be replaced at no charge. Good luck
with that. The cash-strapped Russian manufacturer says the warranty
has expired and the blades won't come free. Now, India warns it
might cancel its purchase of more fighters and spare parts.
The Indian Air Force has 28 Sukhois on the flight line. Many of
them have been modified to carry nuclear weapons. Military
officials say the blade problems emerged after the quarter-century
old fighters accumulated approximately 700 flight hours each.
Russia is still India's biggest supplier of warplanes. In fact,
purchases from Russia account for more than 70-percent of India's
military overall military inventory.
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