Ex-IAF chief defends decision of holding chopper trials abroad
New Delhi: Facing criticism for allegedly insisting on holding the trials of the helicopters in the VVIP chopper deal abroad, former IAF chief F H Major Tuesday defended his decision saying that as a service chief, he wanted the equipment to be delivered at the earliest possible time.
Talking to TV channels, he said the final decision on his recommendation was to be taken by the Defence Ministry and "if this was not to be done, they should have changed it and we should have been told so".
The former chief said he remembers that there were some problems related to bringing the choppers to India as their "cost factor was working out a little higher" and holding the trials abroad will not make much of a difference because the ceiling of the choppers was already reduced from 18,000 feet to 15,000 feet.
Major was today criticised by the CAG on the Rs 3727 crore chopper deal for insisting that trials of the choppers should be done abroad despite the objections and questions raised by the Defence Ministry and Defence Minister A K Antony himself.
Two major changes in the tender requirements for the VVIP choppers including reduction in service ceiling requirement from 6,000m to 4,500m and the increase in height of cabin from 1.45m to 1.8m in may 2005, when S P Tyagi was the chief.
The trials of the choppers were held after F H Major took over from Tyagi in 2007.
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