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Indian Army's Cheetah helicopter crashes in Bhutan, two pilots killed

Indian Army's Cheetah helicopter crashes in Bhutan, two pilots killed

By Web Desk
September 27, 2019
The Cheetah helicopters, commissioned by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the Seventies, are multi-role aircrafts which are used mostly during high-altitude missions.Photo: AFP

Two pilots were killed when Indian Army's Cheetah helicopter crashed in Bhutan, local media reported on Friday.

ANI news agency reported that the Indian pilot who died in the crash was of  Lieutenant colonel rank while the other was a Bhutanese Army pilot training with the Indian Army.

The Cheetah helicopters, commissioned by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the Seventies, are multi-role aircrafts which are used mostly during high-altitude missions.

The IAF, which relies heavily on Russian-made equipment, has been blighted by a poor safety record.

The incident comes two days after an Indian Air Force MiG-21 fight jet  crashed in  Madhya Pradesh.

Crashes involving fighter planes are not uncommon in India, which is in the midst of upgrading its Soviet-era military hardware.

Most of the accidents involve the MiGs that India bought decades ago from the Soviet Union, earning it the unflattering "flying coffin" tag.

Last July, the pilot of an MiG-21 jet died after the fighter jet crashed in northern Himachal Pradesh state.

India is investing billions of dollars in modernising its air force .

New Delhi has signed a contract to purchase 36 Dassault Rafale fighters from France for $8.8 billion.