Deficient equipment: No parachutes in Indian Army for over a decade, says report


NEW DELHI: The Indian Army went without specialised parachutes that can be crucial to success in certain missions for over a decade, India’s top auditor has said in a report presented before the Indian parliament.

“Combat free fall parachutes are required during highly specialised operations and are vital for the success of the missions carried out by Parachutes Special Forces Battalions of the Indian Army. However, the Army was without these specialised parachutes for over a decade,” a report published on the Hindustan Times website quoted the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India as saying in the report.

The audit report stated that India’s Ordnance Factories Board failed to successfully produce the parachutes which were developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 2006 after incurring over INR 100 million in cost.

The report has also raised questions on the functioning of the army aviation corps, the cantonment boards, and shortfall in the availability of BMP combat vehicles in the Indian Army.

The report lays emphasis on insufficiency of the army aviation corps saying it had a deficiency of 32 per cent against its authorised fleet strength.

The CAG report was also critical of the Indian Air Force, for its sub-optimal utilisation of operational capabilities for its Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft which were purchased in 2004 at a cost of more than INR 50 billion. The shortage of aircrew may impact the operations of the planes during hostilities, the report adds.

The auditor also pointed to the low serviceability of the Sukhois, India’s front-line combat aircraft.


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