No more delay in delivery of indigenous aircraft career: Antony

Worried over long delay in getting country`s first indigenous aircraft carrier, AK Antony asked stakeholders to work for an early delivery of warship.

New Delhi: Worried over long delay in getting the country`s first indigenous aircraft carrier, Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday asked stakeholders to work for an early delivery of the warship and said responsibilities would be fixed in case of further slippages in the project.

The Indigenous aircraft carrier, being built in Kochi, was to be inducted into the Navy by 2014-15 but now the proposed induction has been decided for 2018 and the cost of the project has also gone up.

"Everybody has to be accountable for the warship which is a national project and fix responsibilities in case of further slippages. We cannot go on hearing excuses," Antony said here.

The Minister was reviewing the progress in the construction of the aircraft carrier being built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited.

He asked the stakeholders including the Navy, the KSL and other agencies to work together and try to compress the delivery schedule of the warship.

Antony said an Empowered Committee has been formed under Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma whose task would be to constantly monitor the progress in the aircraft carrier.

The Minister also asked the CSL to give a firm date of
induction of the carrier at the earliest possible.

Defence Ministry sources said the Ministry will soon move a proposal to the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for improving the flow of funds for the project launched in 2009.

They said the meeting was also informed that most of the teething problems of the project have been sorted out.

The supply of two gear boxes of the warship have also been arranged and one of them has already reached Koch and the other would be delivered by next month.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi, Director General Acquisition S K Agnihotri and senior officials of the CSL.