Monday, October 25, 2010

Why is Indian Navy mum on use of junk US choppers?

Navy has refused to disclose any details about procurement of six phased-out helicopters from the US worth Rs 182 crore for which it recently received a rap from the Comptroller and Auditor General.The Navy had acquired six decommissioned UH3H helicopters under the Foreign Military Supply (FMS) programme of the United States in November 2006, along with training and support facilities at an approximate cost of Rs 182.14 crore.The 35-40 year-old helicopters "were on the verge of completing their air frame life and are on extended life", noted CAG in its recent report.
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India must be careful that it does not become a dumping ground for outdated military hardware from the USA or Russia. It must also be aware that there are better European platforms that are proven, such as the one that Brazil has adopted. US choppers may not be what India needs. It needs to test platforms carefully before buying them.

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