New Delhi: Days after Army Chief Gen VK Singh’s shocking revelation that the Indian Army is ill-equipped to face a war-like situation, a report on Friday claimed that China-made components were being used in the combat systems with the Ministry of Defence.
According to a report carried out by a leading TV channel, the defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has been using Chinese hardware in the combat systems.
The Army`s Deputy Chief Lieutenant General VS Tonk has brought the matter to the fore and apprised the central government and the Ministry of Defence in this regard.
As per the report, the Centre has been informed that major components used by the armed force in Project Shakti contain Chinese IT hardware, which makes the entire communication network extremely vulnerable.
Importantly, Project Shakti is the main communication lifeline of the Indian Army and is fielded in about two thirds of the force.
In a letter written to the Central government, Tonk has outlined how major components are being used in the system made by BEL re of Chinese origin.
Amid fears that if a thorough systematic investigation of the Project Shakti hardware is carried out, the extent of the vulnerability could further be identified, the Army maintains that under no circumstances can such systems have modules manufactured in countries inimical to national interests.
What is of major concern is the fact that BEL is involved in several other defence-related projects.
The issue of presence of China-made components in the combat hardware was raised at top levels of the government with the Vice Chief in a strongly-worded letter dated March 23, 2011.
Through the letter, the Defence Secretariat was informed that the use of Chinese hardware tantamount to a dilution of trust the armed forces depose in the PSU.
After Bharat Earth Mover Limited (BEML), another controversy involving a defence PSU will only raise suspicion on the generally secretive affairs of the armed forces and their capabilities.