NEW DELHI: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has found several shortcomings related to the integration of Air Combat Manoeuvering Instrumentation System (ACMI) with the existing IAF fleet, right from the stage of signing of the contract, and has observed delays leading to loss of money. The PAC blamed this on lack of planning and foresight on part of the Ministry of Defence and the Air Force.
The Committee, headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, observed that “the Indian Air Force (IAF) had incurred an extra expenditure to the tune of Rs 10.35 crore on account of excess flight trials”. These flight trials were undertaken for integration of ACMI with the existing IAF fleet. The integration flight tests were to be completed in 15 days. The committee noted with concern that the vendor took as long as 43 days, with 84 additional sorties.
In the first instance, the Committee said it failed to understand as to why the Transfer of Technology (ToT) was not included in the Request For Proposal (RFP). The ACMI was procured from BVR of Israel in two stages where a total of 102 ACMI pods, five static ground stations and three mobile ground stations costing Rs167 crore were procured. The contract was signed in two stages in 2007 and 2010.
The parliament panel observed that “by the time all the system would be integrated in 2020-21, half of the shelf life of the pods would expire since delivery”. The shelf life of the system is 20 years from the date of delivery.