Delay in reequipping naval ship from Russia: Antony

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) The Government today admitted in the Lok Sabha that there is delay in the overall progress of repair and re-equipping of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov purchased from Russia.

Defence Minister A K Antony in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, today said the Russian side has submitted a revised master schedule indicating a delay in the project. He said the Russian side has attributed the delay to ''Growth of Work''.

He said the question of fixing responsibility does not arise at this stage.

Mr Antony said to supervise the project for repair and re-equipping of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya which was earlier called Admiral Gorshkov, an apex level committee under Defence Secretary and a steering Committee under a Vice Admiral have been set up.

A team has also been stationed at the shipyard where the repair and re-equipping work is going on. From time to time, teams comprising senior officers are also sent to monitor progress of the project. The matters are taken up between the two countries at an appropriate level.

Responding to another question on whether the Government proposes to spend about 30 billion dollars on the acquisition of military hardware and software during Eleventh Five Year Plan, Mr Antony said no decision on the outlay of defence acquisitions during the plan period has been taken.

The Minister said the Defence Procedure (DPP) 2006 has been under implementation with effect from September 1, 2006. Review of the procedure is a continuous process based on the experience gained in its implementation, he added.

Mr Antony said the Government is discussing various implications of exporting defence systems which are not strategically sensitive.

He said Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is examining opportunities for collaborative development and production of tactical defence systems with friendly countries.

UNI

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