Defence forces to get most sophisticated radars: Antony

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Bangalore, Oct 25 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony, accepting serious lapses on the part of the government as stated in the CAG report, today assured that the Air Force will be provided with most sophisticated Radars and other equipment.

Addressing a press conference here, he said '' I do not dispute the shortcomings pointed out in the CAG Report. It was a failure on our part. Though the process of Radars started in 1991, we were not able to supply the required quantity. But I assure that the process to procure the most modern radars has already begun and would be supplied very soon.'' To another question, Mr Antony said at present, Foreign Director Investment (FDI) in defence manufacturing sector was allowed upto 26 per cent and in special cases it may be increased.

The government has also allowed 42 per cent FDI on need based industries.

Mr Antony, who has completed two years in office as Defence Minister, said ''I am happy with the portfolio and even more after seeing the Air display by indegenously developed and manufactured aircraft at HAL, the most needed aircraft and helicopters like Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas, Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT). We badly needed trainer aircraft to scrap age-old Kiran, the first HAL manufactured Hawk Mk132, Saras.'' To another question, he said his Ministry was ready to provide any number of forces needed for conduct of free and fair election in Jammu and Kashmir scheduled to be held in seven phases in December.

When asked whether he had inked any deal with US during his visit while Prime Minister was in US to sign the India-US Nuc deal, Mr Antony clarified that no deal was signed. It was only a goodwill visit. ''US Secretary (Defence) Mr Gates, during his visit had invited and my visit was a return visit. No deals were inked.'' UNI MSP VV BDP RL HT1715

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