NEW DELHI: A week after CAG highlighted critical shortage of ammunition with the army to last for even ten days of a war, country’s top auditor has once again exposed ill-preparedness of Indian Air Force to counter any aerial threat from China.
Strategic air defence missiles systems, planned to counter Chinese aggression on the eastern sector in 2010, has not been deployed so far, CAG said in its report tabled in the Parliament on Friday.
CAG was referring to Akash, a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system with the range of 30 kilometres, jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems, Ordnance Factories Board and Bharat Electronics.
The missile has the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats, making it vital for country’s air-defence and deterrence capability.
CAG claimed that based on threat perception, the government in 2010 had envisaged induction of strategic missile system for the IAF on Eastern sector to create deterrence capability and it was planned to be put in place between June 2013- December 2015 in phased manner.
“But, till date, even after four years this urgently needed capability has not been created and the strategic objective remains unachieved,” CAG observed.
In 2009, India changed its posturing on the Eastern sector from ‘dissuasive to ‘ deterrence,’ due to building up of large scale military infrastructure by the adversary.
CAG said that, therefore, in 2010 Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement and induction of six squadrons of missile systems at six IAF stations in the Eastern Command with the cost of Rs. 3619 crore.
Simultaneously, approvals were also granted for the creation of necessary infrastructure, like missile preparation and storage facility, ramp structure and workshop etc.
Raising questions of the quality of missiles, Audit found that the missile system delivered by the Bharat Electronics were deficient in quality, as 30 per cent of delivered missiles were failed in the test.
“Preliminary failure analysis report revealed that the missiles fell short of the target, had lower than the required velocity, and also there was malfunctioning of critical units,” CAG observed.