The Indian Navy has grounded its fleet of Sea Harrier fighter aircraft flown from the aircraft carrier INS Viraat for systematic checks following a recent crash.

The aircraft crashed during a routine exercise off Goa Coast, killing the pilot.

The fleet, which consists of eight single-seat fighters and three twin-seater trainers, will undergo systematic checks to ascertain whether a technical defect caused the crash.

The navy is conducting an inquiry into the accident but the absence of a cockpit voice recorder on the fighter will make the investigation more difficult.

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Only eight of the 30 British-origin Sea Harriers indicted into the navy in 1983 remain. Most have been lost in accidents.