IAF pilots to test 'smart' pill for long operations

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by joe81, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. joe81

    joe81 Regular Member

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    Eyeing long haul operations in future, the Indian Air Force is exploring the use of a 'smart' pill for keeping its pilots awake and vigilant for over 37 hours.

    Fatigue has been a problem among pilots involved in long duration flights which sometimes makes them commit errors that can be hazardous, more so during combat operations.

    "Sleep deprivation and resultant fatigue have been attributed as the biggest danger to the success of any mission. That is why we opted to go for a drug named Modafinil which is popular as 'Go Pill'," Major General Mandeep Singh, ADG, Medical Research, Armed Forces Medical Services said.

    The pill has already been tried by US pilots and it has proven to enhance their performance in long duration operations lasting for over 37 hours, he said.

    The drug works on the central-nervous-system and promotes hyper-focus and alertness, he said, adding, "It has found to be efficacious in sustaining performance during periods of sleep deprivation. Moreover, it has no side effects and it possesses potential military applications in sustained air operations."

    Elaborating on the need for such an intervention, Air Marshal Dipankar Ganguly, Director General Medical Services, AIR said, "What applies during peace time is not possible when there is an emergency.

    "During routine operations, a pilot is well rested before he takes off. This luxury is not there during war time. They are required to fly without adequate rest, depending on the nature of operation."

    Major General Singh said that the drug trial will be carried out on pilots of both transport and fighter aircraft.

    "If proven effective we will have the switch in our hands. The problem of irregular working hours having a cumulative effect on the ability of a pilot during important missions can be overcome," he said.
     
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  3. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    This is a great approach. Finally, we are considering medical alternatives to just forcing pilots to do something. :)
     
  5. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    One of my friends told me way back during early 2000s, that IA personnels did use some kind of a pill to keep them awake for hours and that it also made up for hunger. Don't know if that us true. Ray Sir might be able to give some insight.
     

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