New Delhi: Russian-made Smerch rockets bought
by India for Rs 2,633 crore for its Army were defective, due
to which these "could not be fully operationalised",
government auditors have found.
In a report tabled in Parliament today, the Comptroller
and Auditor General (CAG) also said the multi-barrel rocket
launcher (MBRL) system had several defects in its launch
vehicles, outlaying fire controls and data transmission and
there were defects in the Milan anti-tank missiles supplied by
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
The Defence Ministry had signed two deals in December
2005, and March 2007, with Russian firm Rosoboronexport for
importing 42 of the MBRL systems along with launch,
transloader, command and staff, meteorological support complex
and workshop repair vehicles.
The supplies under the two contracts were completed in
June 2007, and May 2009, but the audit found that the systems
in the MBRLs were faulty, resulting in failure in
operationalising them on time.
It also found there was a delay in buying the logistics
support equipment and formulation of war establishment.
Moreover, four rockets were damage in transit from an
Indian airport to the defence units due to the absence of a
suitable material handling equipment, resulting in a loss of
Rs 2.36 crore.
In another instance of Defence Ministry buying poor
quality weapons for its Army, the CAG found that it had
ordered for 4,100 "outdated" 1970s vintage missiles for Rs 587
crore in 2008, from BDL, a Defence PSU, thereby "compromising
the Army`s requirement."
In the report, it said the Anti-Tank Guided Missile
Milan-2, a second generation missile with single warhead
produced by BDL, had limited capability to defeat modern
tanks, but it added that there was an upgraded version
Milan-2T with tandem warheads that was more effective.
Milan-2 has a range of 1,850 metres, whereas Milan-2T has
a range of 2,000 metres. Though the orders were placed for
Milan-2T missiles, BDL had supplied missiles that had a range
of 1,850 metres under guidance phase while the last 150 metres
were left unguided, the CAG said.