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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

From Today's Papers - 19 May 2015

CAG Report Reveals Ammunition Shortage For Army, Defence Minister Blames Previous UPA Government
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday blamed the previous UPA regime for not taking steps to maintain the stocks of arms and ammunition as preparation in case of a war and said the situation has substantially improved now under the new government.

The minister's remarks come in the wake of a CAG report on ammunition management, which pointed that the army faced a massive ammunition shortage with reserves that would barely last 20 days of intense fighting.

"I admit the CAG report, which stated that arms and ammunition will last for 20 days if war breaks out. The situation that was there till 2013 has considerably improved now and there was not reason to worry," said Parrikar, who is on a two-day visit to Nagpur.

He said the necessary stock of arms and ammunition between the year 2008 and 2013 was not taken care of and no seriousness was shown in this regard.

"Now the situation is not that bad and it is not a question of 20 days or 40 days. It all depends on the requirement of arms and ammunition and shell's life...I can't afford ammunition for 40 days since other factors are also involved like the age of ammunition and ease of handling," Parrikar said.

There are a variety of ammunition and and if one particular product is short, others can be used to overcome the shortfall, he said.

"We will overcome the shortfall within one and half years and the gap has been filled 50 per cent and process of remaining 50 percent is underway," Parrikar asserted.

To a question, Parrikar defended the government's decision to freeze the raising of Mountain Striking Corps.

Elaborating on it, he said it requires a whopping Rs 88,000 crore for which the previous UPA government did not make provision, but just took a decision.

"The UPA cabinet took a decision in 2010 which was without proper planning," he alleged.

The infrastructure has to be improved for raising such a force and in the absence of such a provision, the BJP government has decided to put it on hold.

"We are working on to settle the unit," he added.

On procurement of fighter aircraft Rafale from France, Parrikar said India would go for direct purchase.

Earlier in the day, Parrikar met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in the city.
Pakistan army 'caught India by throat' during Kargil war: Pervez Musharraf

KARACHI: Recalling the Kargil conflict, Pakistan's former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf today said the Pakistani army "caught India by throat" and that India will never forget the war.

"There was a second line force, too, which caught India by throat and that was later given the status of army," Musharraf said, addressing a ceremony of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).

Musharraf, who masterminded the 1999 Kargil conflict and ruled over Pakistan for nine yea ..
Military plane, chopper deals to kick-start aero industry's ecosystem: Parrikar
Clearance of the Rs.11,930 crore Airbus-TATA consortium bid to manufacture 56 transport aircraft for the IAF and of a Russian firm's bid to build 200 advanced military helicopters will kick-start the aero industry ecosystem in India, especially for aviation parts, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.

Parrikar, who was speaking to reporters at a press conference at BJP's state headquarters here, also said there was a shortage of around 500 helicopters across the Indian military wings.

"From this, aero ecosystem, especially which relates to manufacture of aviation parts will get a boost... It will provide a kick-start to the private aviation industry," the minister said.

He also said that 14 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) transport planes to be purchased from Airbus-Tata would be in fly-away condition while the remaining 42 would be manufactured in India.

"For them, 50 percent (or) more parts will be indigenous," Parrikar said, adding that the proportion of indigenous parts would go above 50 percent in time.

Parrikar also said that considering the shortfall of as many as 500 helicopters in the Indian Army and the IAF, there would be no compromise on the manufacture of Dhruv helicopters by the defence ministry-operated aviation company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru.

He said it even as the Defence Acquisition Council on Thursday approved the offer of a Russian defence manufacturing firm to build 200 advanced twin-engine Kamov helicopters for the Indian armed forces.

"There will be no compromise on HAL's Dhruv. We need quantity from them too. Army and Air Force need many more helicopters. In fact, the shortage is almost around 500," Parrikar said, adding that around 250 Chetak and Cheetah helicopters used by the Indian military were around 30 years old.

Speaking about the helicopter deal, Parrikar said the Indian government was dealing with Russia directly over the issue and that while 60 choppers would be purchased directly "rest of the 140 will be manufactured here under the Make in India programme".

"As a result, an eco-system for helicopters will be created," Parrikar said. - See more at:

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