NEW DELHI- India has grounded its entire Sukhoi-30 fleet to undertake a thorough technical check following a recent crash near Pune.

IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Simranpal Singh Birdi said that the fleet of about 200 twin-engine Su-30s "… has been grounded and is undergoing technical checks following the latest accident in Pune. It would be back in air only after a thorough check."He did not specify what were the specific technical aspects that the force is looking into.

The grounded fleet represent almost a third of the country's fighter fleet. The IAF is down to 34 combat squadrons, as against an authorized strength of 44. Each squadron has up to 18 fighter planes.

Last week, a Sukhoi-30 MKI had crashed in a field near Pune, and preliminary findings had suggested a technical problem in the fly-by-wire system as the cause and not human error. A press statement by the IAF named the pilots as Wing Commander S Munje and Flying Officer Anup Singh.

"The SU 30 MKI Aircraft accident is under investigation. A court of inquiry is in progress to ascertain the actual cause of accident," he said.

This was the fifth accident involving a SU-30 MKI since 2009 and the fleet has at least been grounded twice earlier.