The IAF is facing a shortage of 405 pilots as on March 1, with 3,834 pilots in service as against the sanctioned strength of 4,293, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. 260 aircraft are being utilised to train the pilots.
“The induction numbers have been increased and 203 Joining Instructions were issued for the flying branch [National Defence Academy, Air Force Academy] in 2020,” Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik told the Lok Sabha on the steps being take to address the shortage.
An additional selection centre at Guwahati will commence testing from April and will enable candidates from northeast to appear for selection and increase the number of candidates tested, he said.
The trainer aircraft include Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II Basic Trainer Aircraft, Kiran MkI and IA aircraft as Intermediate Jet Trainer and Hawk Mk-132 aircraft as Advanced Jet Trainer. “For training of helicopter pilots, 14 Mi-17 helicopters and for transport pilots 26 Dorniers and 16 AN-32 are being used,” Mr. Naik said.