CAG Slams Indian Navy For Buying MiG-29K’s Without Weapons

 The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report slammed
the Ministry of Defence and the Navy for buying war planes that do not
have weapons. It also pointed a finger at the Indian Air Force (IAF) for
having ‘let off’ three of its officers who caused a loss of Rs 302
crore when a sensitive aerostat radar got damaged.
The CAG, in its report tabled
in both Houses of Parliament, said the Indian Navy followed a flawed
approach in acquiring its fighter aircraft fleet by not finalising the
associated weapon package. The CAG said that 11 out of 16 MiG 29K
aircraft, acquired at a cost of $740.35 million (Rs 3,405.61 crore),
been delivered in December 2009 and May 2011. No matching armament, for
which a contract was signed in March 2006, has been delivered as on
October 2010, thereby adversely affecting the operational capabilities
of the aircraft.
Further, the Navy has selected a
‘beyond visual range’ (BVR) missile with an unsatisfactory track
record. Lastly, the complete armament package finalised for the aircraft
contains certain ammunition, worth $20.98 million (Rs 93.68 crore)
which did not have the approval of the competent authority.
The MiG 29K is a deck-based
fighter meant for seaborne aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral
Gorshkov). At present, the fighters are based at a land base in Goa as
the aircraft carrier itself has not arrived.
The agreement was signed under
an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and Russia in
October 2000 for the procurement of an aircraft carrier along with the
MiGs for onboard operations. The Ministry of Defence in January 2004
concluded a contract with Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC-MIG) for
procurement of the MiG 29K aircraft. The weapons package was postponed
and de-linked from the negotiations for the aircraft.