Delay in howitzers prodn: CAG pulls up MoD, Army
New Delhi: With no artillery gun inducted in
over two decades, the CAG today pulled up the Defence Ministry
and Army saying the delay in procurement of these howitzers
has adversely impacted operational preparedness of the service
and resulted in "substantial" cost overruns.
The CAG slammed the Defence Ministry and Army for "failure
in defining the requirement of specific gun system that has
deprived its artillery, for over a decade, of guns of latest
technology, which are in service world over."
Also, procurement of these guns was not in sight in the
foreseeable future, it said.
"The abnormal delay in procurement of the new guns has not
only impacted the operational preparedness of the Army but
also resulted in substantial cost over run...," the
Comptroller and Auditor General said in its report tabled
After the Bofors gun deal controversy in late 80s, the
Army has not been able to induct even a single piece of new
artillery gun after several failed attempts to do so.
In the last 15 years, Army has been processing the cases
to procure 400 155 mm 52 calibre towed artillery guns, 145
Ultra Light and more than 140 wheeled and tracked
self-propelled howitzers from global vendors.
The government auditor said artillery guns of modern
technology could not be made available to the troops for over
a decade for replacing the existing inventory of "obsolete
technology of 1970 vintage".
Commenting on Ministry`s policy to procure a
self-propelled howitzers through "hybrid" route with the
chassis of the Arjun tank, which itself was under development,
the CAG said the "unwillingness to buy the integrated system
has also delayed the procurement inordinately".
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