Saturday, July 25, 2009

'Second-hand' Gorshkov costlier than new warship: CAG

The Indian Navy's purchase of the Russian-built aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, already mired in controversy, has been criticised by the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) as the "second-hand" warhorse will be 60 percent costlier than a new one and there is a risk of further delay in its delivery. "The objective of inducting an aircraft carrier in time to fill the gap in Indian Navy has not been achieved," the CAG said in its annual report released on Friday. "The cost of acquisition has more than doubled to USD 1.82 billion in four years. At best Indian Navy would be acquiring, belatedly, a second-hand ship with a limited life span by paying significantly more than what it would have paid for a new ship," it said. The purchase of Admiral Gorshkov faced controversy when Russia escalated the price for its refitting in 2007 and also pushed back its delivery date. According to the CAG report, the platform is scheduled to be delivered by 2012 and would be due for its second refit in India by 2017. Moreover, the CAG report predicts that the Russian shipyard might as well fail to stick to the scheduled delivery date. Overall work progress continued to be slow and needed to be accelerated to meet even the revised scheduled. Given the work needed to be done, preceeding the undocking and the cascading effect of delay in undocking on downstream activities, there was a risk that the delivery acceptance trials of the ship would not be completed by 2012," the report said. "It can be seen that Indian Navy was acquiring a second-hand refitted aircraft carrier that had half the life span of and was 60 percent more expensive that a new one," said the report. Despite the exorbitant price tag, the CAG report points out the carrier has limited operational capabilities and certain key capabilities which would enable the ship "to meet potential threats or challenges" had either not been provided for or had been postponed to a later date. "The anti-aircraft missile complex selected to be fitted in the ship failed during the trials and the refurbishment contract was concluded without the missile system... This implies that the ship would not have a CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) till her first refit in India in 2017," revealed the report. The CIWS is a vital naval shipboard point weapon for detecting and destroying incoming anti-ship missiles and enemy aircraft at short range.

2 comments:

Is RIM116 RAM an option for Gorshkov? It's in-service, modular, exportable and arguably much more effective (expensive too) than gun-based CIWS.

No its not an option as Russian are only allowing Russian weaponry as part of deal and that’s why Barak-1 was not allowed

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