Millennium Post

India cannot ‘fire and forget’ in 2014

India cannot ‘fire and forget’ in 2014
Nag is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) with a cost of nearly 54 million US dollar. The startling revelation came following the CAG audit report on DRDO. The CAG report (sub-para number 5.3) reads with a sub heading, ‘Procurement in violation of norms by DRDO: The DRDO has procured a critical component required in production of Nag missile at a cost of Rs 52.58 crore, in anticipation of an order from the Army, which resulted in blocking of government money amounting to Rs 34.70 crore.’

A senior CAG official said, ‘After going through the audit report it seems induction of Nag missile in the defence system is a distant dream. There is a need for a better communication and timely utilisation of funds sanctioned for the project.’

The union defence ministry wanted to replace the existing Russian Konkours and European missile Milan, manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited, with Nag. However, with the current pace, orders of 443 Nag missiles likely to take some more time. Earlier, the missile was tested in Rajasthan but failed to achieve its objective of hitting the target due to some fault with the ‘heat seeker’ required to distinguish (identify) the target accurately.

In 2011, it was successfully completed its final validation trials and about to induct in the Indian Army but the project suffered another ‘road block’ after army requested for some changes in its requirements.

The CAG officials while going through the findings related to Nag missiles also stumbled upon an undue favour given to foreign firms by accepting the PC Sheets valuing Rs 2.58 crore by the Ordnance Factory Badmal in Odisha. The report reads, ‘Undue benefit to a foreign firm by diluting the conditions in Tender Enquiry and contract Ordnance Factory Badmal, in violation of Defence Procurement Manual, accorded undue benefit to a foreign firm by accepting the PC Sheets valuing Rs 2.58 crore without ascertaining its manufacturing month.’
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