Sunday, July 26, 2009

CAG raps IAF over purchase of Hawk aircraft in 2004


CAG has rapped the Indian Air Force for buying the Hawk advanced trainer aircraft in 2004 on the basis of its requirements in 1987, compromising operational and training requirements of the service. "The supply and production of the aircraft was based on air staff requirements that were not reviewed since their issue in 1987. The restriction in utilisation of aircraft would compromise operational and training requirements," the report said. India had signed a contract with BAE Systems in 2004 to supply 66 trainer aircraft, 24 of which were to be supplied in the fly-away condition and the rest license-manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). The report also slammed the IAF for taking 22 years to finalise the deal for the aircraft, the need for which was felt in 1982 itself. "Inordinate delay in acquisition of these trainer aircraft, which is essential for improving the skills of IAF pilots graduating from lower speed aircraft to advanced high performance fighter aircraft, has affected pilot safety," it said. The CAG said due to pending integration of electronic weapons suite, the aircraft could not be used for tactical weapon training, limiting the operational use of the aircraft. The Government auditors also revealed the anomalies in the pricing of spares for the aircraft exceeding the contracted rates. "Scrutiny of prices for these spares revealed that the firm had charged excess amount of UKP 8,37,108 for the fixed spares as the pricing was done for each line item based on unit price and contracted rates were not implemented," it said. Scrutinising the development of Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) aircraft by HAL, CAG said the delay in manufacturing and supply of trainer aircraft has denied the pilots the stage II training opportunity on these aircraft.

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