Monday, March 4, 2013

Defense in Parliament

Neelam Mathews
March 4, 2013

Defense Queries Answered Today (Verbatim) in Lok Sabha on-

HAL- So what’s new? More Excuses?

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has taken up indigenous production of SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Advanced Jet Trainer (Hawk), Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), Advance Light Helicopter (ALH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and Dornier-228 for the defence forces. Dornier-228 program has been as per schedule. There have been some delays in deliveries in respect of production programs of other aircraft.
In the initial stages of the projects, delays were due to additional re-work on jigs in Hawk, late receipt of drawings from Russia for Su-30 MKI, integration issues of Integrated Architecture and Display System (IADS) with Shakti engine and other new items in respect of ALH and design and development issues relating to IJT and LCA. The certification of IJT was also delayed due to an accident of Prototype-1 and failure of Stress Test Specimen.
From time to time reviews are undertaken at various levels with the concerned stakeholders.

Projects under Review-

The modernization of IAF is progressing as per the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP 2012-2027) and Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP). As per broad time-frame given in DPP, it takes about 2-3 years to complete the various stages of procurement and conclude the Contract. In respect of 126 MMRCA project, Contract negotiations are in progress with Dassault Aviation, France, which emerged as the L-1 vendor. Divulgence of information on details of operational and non-operational aircraft may not be in national interest. To counter systemic and institutional delays, procedures and processes are continuously refined on the basis of experience gained during the procurement process. The Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) provides an effective framework for expeditious procurement for modernization and to keep the Armed Forces in a state of operational readiness to meet any eventuality.
IAF is planning to conduct Air Force level exercise during the month of March to April 2013 in two phases tentatively from 16th March to 26th March and 28th March to 4th April, 2013.

Defense Budget-

It has been proposed to reduce the allocation in the current financial year by Rs 4903.77 crore under the Revenue segment and 10,000.00 crore under Capital in the Revised Estimates 2012-13. This has been done in view of the need to curtail expenditure to contain the fiscal deficit, after taking into account the progress of approval of schemes and utilization of available budget. However, budgetary allocation of Rs 203,672.12  crore is proposed for Budget Estimates (BE) of 2013-14 in respect of the Defense Services, as against BE 2012-13 allocation of Rs. 1,93,407.29 crore. This represents an increase of 5.31%.
An increase of 9% is proposed in the Capital budget for 2013-14 as compared to BE 2012-13. This is considered reasonable to meet the estimated requirements of the next financial year. The reduced allocation in the case of RE 2012-13 is also considered sufficient given the progress of modernization schemes.
Twelfth Defense Five Year Plan is yet to be finalized by the Government.
Roads by BRO

The road from Tezpur to Balipara (20 Km) is already double-laned and double laning of the stretch from Balipara to Tawang (317.52 Km) is under progress by Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
The probable date of completion of the road Balipara-Charduwar-Tawang to National Highway Double Lane (NHDL) specifications is March 2016. Out of total length of 317.52 Km from Balipara to Tawang, 88 Km length has been completed to NHDL specifications. Reasons for delay in completion include:
•          Delay in forest/wildlife clearance and land acquisition.
•          Restricted working period due to high altitude and adverse climate.
•          Damages caused due to prolonged monsoon leading to improper supply of stores.
•          Available contractors not keen to work in far flung areas.
•          Frequent local bandhs.
•          Non availability of sufficient labour.
•          Non approval of alignment of 03 Nos bye-passes at Bomdila, Dirang and Jung by local administration.
Following steps have been taken to expedite completion of works:
•          Works have been commenced simultaneously in 22 stretches.
•         Additional units (2 Task Forces and 3 Road Construction Companies) have been inducted.
•         Additional heavy mechanical plants and equipment like 20 tonnes per hour capacity stone crushers, 30/20 tonne Hydraulic Excavators have been inducted.
•         Works on formation and surfacing have been outsourced in certain stretches.
•         Pending forest and wildlife clearances are being monitored closely and an officer is specially detailed for this purpose.
•          Close monitoring of works is being done at all levels.
Alternative all weather road via Orang-Kalaktang-Shergaon-Rupa-Tenga (OKSRT road) leading up to Tenga is under construction. Construction by an alternative road from Tawang to Guwahati via Bhutan has not been undertaken.

Basic Trainer
The Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) bids were evaluated on the basis of the Total Cost of Acquisition for determining the L1 vendor, as stipulated in the Request for Proposal (RFP) and the contract was signed for the Direct Acquisition cost elements as specified in the RFP. The contract was signed on 24th May 2012 at a total cost of Rs.2895.63 Crore for procurement of 75 Aircrafts and associated equipment.The Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued on the basis of Total Cost of Acquisition for determining the L1 vendor. The Total Cost of Acquisition included the following five elements:-
(i)           Direct Acquisition Cost.
(ii)         Cost of Total Technical Life (TTL) based reserves.
(iii)        Cost of Intermediate level servicing.
(iv)       Cost of Depot level servicing.
(v)        Operating Cost.
There was no deviation to the conditions of the RFP.

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