A day after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointed out that India’s security was vulnerable to hostile aerial attacks, Defence Minister AK Antony has acknowledged that obsolete and insufficient number of radars held by the Indian Air Force constitute “a serious problem”.
Antony said, “The process of induction of radars began in 1991, but we were not able to provide the necessary air defence equipment due to diverse reasons. We are facing problems even now. New radars have been inducted, but it will take time to tide over the shortcomings.”
The CAG report has pointed out that outdated and inadequate numbers of surveillance radars held by the Indian Air Force make India’s security vulnerable to potential aerial threats. The country’s air defence system — a complex network of radars, anti-aircraft guns and air and missile bases — is based on technology inducted way back in 1976.
The national auditor said the government failed to approve the IAF’s modernisation despite “growing magnitude of potential aerial threats.” The report revealed shortage of medium power radars needed for ground control and intercept was as high as 53 per cent of the projected requirement. Besides, holding of low-level transportable radars was merely 24 per cent of the actual requirement of the IAF.
Not even half of the Indian Navy’s ageing submarine fleet is operationally ready to wage war, said the CAG. It criticised the defence ministry for not adhering to its submarine induction plan.
“At present, the navy holds just 67 per cent of the force level envisaged in its 1985 plan. Due to ageing fleet and prolonged refit schedules, the average operational availability of the submarines is as low as 48 per cent,” the CAG said.