To provide online system for maintenance of fleet

The Indian Air Force has dished out an over Rs 900-crore contract to software services company Wipro to electronically monitor and automate the management of its fleet, said Air Marshal P. Kanakaraj, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command.

“As part of this project, all maintenance activities done on our aircraft will be electronically captured. It is a dashboard sort of system which will replace the old system of manual logbooks. The endeavour is to go completely paperless,” Kanakaraj told Business Line.

The multi-year project — e-Maintenance Management System— will help the IAF quickly mobilise its fleet in case of a war-like situation, said Kanakaraj, who was here on Thursday.

With this project, the IAF intends to set up an enterprise-wide, online maintenance management system which will be Web-based. This will cover aspects such as configuration management, fleet planning and management, maintenance repair and overhaul.

“The Air Force has also earmarked two locations for the system, one of which will serve as the disaster recovery centre for the system,” said Kanakaraj. The project will help reduce overall costs for the Air Force by increasing ‘accuracy of information, speed of information and reduction of manpower deployed’, he said.

A source said Tata Consultancy Services, its subsidiary CMC, and a host of other companies were in the race for the deal.

In fact, the entire project, the request for proposal for which was first floated in 2008, has been delayed numerous times.

Wipro officials were not available for comment.

Alok Shende, Principal Analyst and Director of Ascentius Consulting, said: “A whole new wave of investments started happening in the Indian defence ecosystem four-five years ago. In anticipation of what was happening, a lot of Indian vendors started looking at defence as a serious opportunity, and that is now bearing fruit for Wipro,” Shende added.

According to details in the request for proposal, in the first phase, the new system will be implemented in key locations before being gradually rolled out to 170 locations, covering about 550 units of the IAF.

adith.charlie@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 7, 2013)
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