New Delhi: In a first, India has allowed one of its warships, bought second-hand from the US in 2005 and inducted into service in 2007, to be inspected by American experts for end-user verification under an agreement signed earlier.
However, this inspection was "not intrusive" and was done after removing some equipment off INS Jalashwa, a landing pontoon dock that was the US Navy`s USS Trenton in its previous avatar.
Asked about this inspection, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters here on Tuesday that "no intrusive" inspection of the equipment of INS Jalashwa took place.
"It is quite possible that certification was given. But no intrusive inspection took place," Verma said at his farewell press conference here.
He is scheduled to retire from service after over four decades in the Navy, of which he was chief for three years since 2009.
"If anybody comes on board Jalashwa, it will be intrusive. That`s not the case," he said.
The end-user verification agreement that the US insists on signing whenever it sells or transfers military equipment to a friendly country entails that American experts inspect the equipment at regular intervals to ensure it was not being used for purposes other than for which the sale or transfer took place.
Reports had suggested that the Indian Navy removed some night vision equipment from on board the 17,000-tonne transport dock warfare ship that aids carrying out amphibious warfare on enemy`s shores and allowed the American inspectors to check the equipment`s use sometime in late 2011.
Such an inspection has come into the open only now.
However, the Indian Navy had not allowed the US `Golden Sentry` team to board and examine the equipment.
India and the US signed a generic End-User Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) when American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India mid-2009.