CDS Bipin Rawat Chopper Crash VVIP flying protocol Review after probe report

Hyderabad. Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Choudhary on Saturday said the protocol governing VVIP flights will be reviewed after an apex inquiry panel submits its report on the Coonoor helicopter crash. In this accident, 14 people including India’s first Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat died.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the joint graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal near here, Chowdhury was asked whether the procedures relating to flights of VVIPs, especially after the Mi-17 helicopter crash, were being reviewed, So he said that the review will be done on the basis of the findings of the investigation.

‘Every aspect of the incident is being investigated’
Simultaneously, Air Force Chief V.R. Choudhary said the ‘court of inquiry’ of the investigation team comprising officers of the three services into the helicopter crash would be a fair process and this team has been asked to investigate every aspect of the incident. He said, “I do not want to make any predictions about the outcome of the Court of Inquiry, as it is a holistic process. He (Air Marshal Manvendra Singh) has been empowered to investigate every aspect and look into every aspect as to what might have gone wrong and on that basis make appropriate recommendations and draw conclusions.”

The accident took place in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu on 8th December.
Chaudhary was asked about the details related to the investigation and the circumstances related to the helicopter crash, in response to which he made this remark. India’s Chief of Defense Staff, his wife and 12 other army personnel were killed in a helicopter crash on December 8 in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. After the helicopter crash, Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had informed Parliament that a team of the three services, led by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, has started an investigation into the accident.

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Will have to wait till the ‘court of inquiry’ is over
He said, “I believe that I will not make any hasty announcement about what could be the reason for this (accident) or what remedial steps we are going to take for this, so we have to wait for some time till the court of inquiry is completed. And have to wait for weeks. I want to assure you that this is a very fair process.”

‘Ready to meet any challenge in eastern Ladakh’
Chaudhary also commented on the ongoing standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. He said that the Indian Air Force is continuing its deployment in eastern Ladakh as the standoff with China still persists and the force is ready to increase the presence of troops if needed. He said, “Like you said, the standoff is on. Soldiers (on both sides) have withdrawn from some areas of Eastern Ladakh. But, the troops are not completely withdrawn yet… I would not like to go into details, but suffice it to say that we are positioned, ready to respond quickly to any challenge we may face in that area ” He was replying to a question on the standoff with China in the Eastern Ladakh region.

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‘IAF aware of threats coming from neighboring country’
Asked if there will be more deployment of forces, he said, “Of course, it will be there if necessary. We will increase the deployment if needed.” In response to another question, Chaudhary said that the Indian Air Force is aware of the threats coming in different forms from the neighboring country. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said the standoff was the result of China not following “agreements” and Beijing acting as a party that had “breached a contract”.

Earlier, addressing the passing out parade here, Choudhary said that fundamental changes are taking place in the nature of warfare and India’s security scenario involves multi-faceted threats and challenges, which will require capacity building in multiple areas. Choudhary said the Air Force is transforming into a highly powerful Air Force by inducting Rafale aircraft, Apache helicopters and extensive state-of-the-art systems.

Tags: cds bipin rawat, General Bipin Rawat, Indian air force, Tamil nadu


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