Comptroller and auditor general (CAG)report published yesterday highlighted the massive ammunition shortage faced by the Indian army. The report tabled in the parliament on Friday pointed out that the country’s defense will in a high risk situation in case of of unexpected war.
According to CAG, though the army blames the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) for delays and slippage, the OFB asked for lesser money from the government than what was required to meet the Army’s projections. The report underlined the failure in the initiation of the seventeen import projects initiated in 2013.
“Stocking of ammunition even at ‘minimum acceptable risk level’ was not ensured, as availability of ammunition as on March 2013 was below this level in respect of 125 out of a total of 170 types of ammunition,” the report pointed out.
CAG further highlighted the fact that the army failed to keep its minimum acceptable risk level (MARL). After the Kargil war of 1999, the Army set MARL as 20 days. However, this bench mark has not been achieved yet. In the current situation only 10 per cent of the ammunition is available to meet a 40-day War.
CAG said that India’s prestigious locally produced Tejas is ruddled with 53 significant shortfalls. The country’s highest auditor warned the government that the Tejas could turn down the airforce.
The 63 page report termed LCA Mk-I pilots as “sitting duck in the battle”. “The IAF would be constrained to use 40 LCA Mk-I aircraft with limited operational capabilities,” the report said. According to the report, the under-development LCA Mk-II is expected to be packed with several major improvements over its predecessor.
CAG report also pointed about the delay in the manufacture and supply LCA project sanctioned in 1983 for replacing the ageing MiG-21s — had set the IAF back by Rs 20,037 crore. This has forced IAF to opt for temporary measures such as upgrading its existing fighter planes to counter the problem of rapid force depletion.
In short, the third largest army in the world –Indian army is in a very high risk situation.