Sunday, July 26, 2009

Only 48 per cent of Indian Navy's submarine fleet is available for waging war : CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in his latest report has painted a bleak picture of India's defence preparedness.The report, tabled in Lok Sabha on Friday, says half of India's submarine fleet is in disrepair and a grossly inadequate, three decade-old radar network has left the country vulnerable to enemy attack.The stinging CAG report states that no more than 48 per cent of India's submarine fleet is available for waging war, should India be attacked.The auditors have blamed this situation on an ageing fleet, which the Defence Ministry has failed to replace.Also, the numbers falls far short of the requirement. India's submarine fleet is only 67 per cent of the force levels approved 23 years ago."The Indian Navy currently hold just 67 per cent of the force level envisaged in its 1985 plan," the report says.At present, the submarine fleet strength of the Navy includes Kilo-class and four HDW. Currently, six Scorpene submarines are under construction at the Mazgaon Docks in Mumbai and the Navy has floated fresh Request for Information to acquired submarines."Some of the submarines have already outlived their maximum service life," it adds.The report also castigates the performance of the newly acquired sonars costing Rs 168 crore as being unsatisfactory.The report also sounded a grave alarm about the status of India's air defence, which are based on outdated, 32-year-old technology.Shortage of key radars was to the tune of 76 per cent making India particularly vulnerable to air attacks.

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