Indian Army To Provide Better Navigational Aids To Pilots

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Three months after its Cheetah helicopter strayed across the Line of Control (LoC) into Pakistan, the Indian Army is looking to provide better navigational aids to its pilots to help them know their position while flying.

An Army helicopter had strayed into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on October 23 last year and was forced by Pakistani military to land there.

The Cheetah helicopter with two pilots and two engineers was made to land in Olding sector near Skardu, about 20 km from the LoC, after it strayed due to inclement weather.

The Northern Army Commander under his special financial powers has issued a tender to procure 80 GPS advanced navigation systems which will be equipped on the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, Army officials said here.

The two pilots and the other crew were returned safely within five hours of the incident after Pakistan ascertained that they had not strayed inside its territory deliberately.

After the incident, the Army had ordered an inquiry to find out the reasons behind it.

One of the suggestions given by the inquiry committee was to upgrade and improve the navigational aids provided to the pilots to avoid such incidents in the future, officials said.

The Indian Army operates the largest fleet of helicopters in the country which mainly consists the light weight Cheetah and Chetak choppers.

Its tender to procure 197 light utility choppers is also at an advanced stage.

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