NEW DELHI --- Pilots training to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy are flying jets fitted with inferior engines and “Category B” or “second-hand components” that seriously affect the “quality of the aircraft”, a recent audit by the Comptroller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) says.
Faced with an ageing fleet of intermediate jet trainers, India bought 123 Hawk - 106 for IAF and 17 for the Navy from British company BAES in 2004. Twenty-eight of these 123 jets were to be bought in flyaway condition whereas the rest were to be assembled by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with the engines being made by it based on technology transfer.
The total value of the deal was about $2 billion. The aircraft were ordered in three phases, starting March 2004.
The problem is with the aircraft assembled here, according to the audit.
In addition to using inferior engines, “a large number of second-hand components and parts have been fitted in the aircraft,” according to the audit report, which has been seen by Hindustan Times. (end of excerpt)
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