Indian Defence News [View All Articles]

Manohar Parrikar orders probe into claims of trial manipulation in missile deal worth Rs 4,000 crore

Amid charges of manipulations in the field trials, defence minister Manohar Parrikar has formed a committee to probe the allegations in the procurement of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel.

The deal is expected to be worth over Rs 4,000 crore for buying third generation ATGMs from an Israeli firm which has been in the making since 2009 and has been delayed many a times due to various reasons.

"There were allegations that some manipulations had taken place when the Israeli ATGM was going through trials. The defence minister has formed a committee to probe the charges and it will submit its report shortly to him," senior government sources told Mail Today.

When asked about Parrikar's decision to form the committee, Army sources said they were not aware of the developments.
The Israeli firm has claimed to have maintained total transparency and probity in the whole tendering process.


DISCREPANCIES IN TRIAL REPORT

Sources said there have been allegations that the there is a mismatch between the actual performance of the Israeli missile in the trial process and the report which was filed by the officials later.

The missile was put to trials in all the possible terrains in Indian conditions including the high-altitude areas, plains and deserts. Earlier also, there were complaints which suggested that the main issue with the report is about the trials done in desert conditions.

At the time of the initiation of the deal, American firms were also in the race to supply the third-generation anti-tank missiles but were not considered while taking a final decision as they were not ready for sharing the full technology of the missiles.


ARMY PLANS TO BUY 270 ATGM SYSTEMS

The Army has plans of buying over 270 antitank guided missile systems with over 8,350 missiles which will have a range of over 2.5-km and fire-and-forget capabilities. The missile system would be used to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units.

The deal also includes a technology transfer to India's state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to build another 1,500 systems and around 30,000 additional missiles in the future as the Army increases its induction.

After the NDA government gave a 'go-ahead' to the project after coming to power in 2014, there have also been issues related to contract negotiations between the two sides. If the deal is signed, the deliveries will take 48-60 months to commence after which the BDL would come into play.

The Indian side might also include a private sector industry to participate in the deal for giving exposure and get the know how to work for an improved indigenous version of the missile in the future.

At present, infantry units are making do with second-generation Milan (2-km range) and Konkurs (4-km range) ATGMs, produced by BDL under licence from French and Russian companies, which are wire-guided and do not have fire-and-forget capabilities.

Overall, the Army is sanctioned to keep over 81,000 different kinds of ATGMs, which are critical to stem enemy armoured attacks, but does not have even half of that number in its inventory due to delays in the procurement of new systems.


Defence News Poll
Should wives of Defence Chiefs be allowed to travel abroad at Govt's expense ?


  
View Result  |  Archive