New Delhi, Oct 25: Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday admitted that there were problems related to the air surveillance coverage by the Air Force due to a shortage of radars.
He also acknowledged the shortage of submarines in the Navy.
Addressing reporters in New Delhi, Antony acknowledged that the problem of radar coverage exists in the IAF because of failure on the part of the government to provide necessary equipment to the forces.
He however added that the process to make the equipment available was underway, but will take some time.
In a report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday, CAG severely criticised the government for lapses in the defence systems.
The report was tabled after reviewing the functioning of the air and ground defence system in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and operational availability of submarines in the Navy. According to the reports the government has not yet cleared any of the revised air defence plans of the IAF that were submitted since 1976 despite "significant changes in security scenario". The reports also revealed that India is facing a 47 per cent shortage of radars necessary to detect suspicious Aircrafts. According to the reports the availability of the submarines is even as low as 48 per cent because of the fleet being obsolete. The report further says that the missile firing capabilities are not up to the mark. The report clearly indicates that India might not be safe in aerial wars though the Indian Air Force is considered as one of the best air forces of the world. Admitting the facts mentioned in the report, Antony said that no new radar equipment has been inducted into the IAF for the past 17 years but the things are on the correct track now and government would provide modern equipments to forces at the earliest. "Whatever happened in the past, even though we failed in last 17 years, I can assure you now things are on the right track. We will provide Air Force and other services whatever modern equipments they want at the earliest," said Antony. He further added that the process to make the equipment available was underway, but would take some time to materialize. Presently, India has in all 1430 combat aircraft-fighter aircrafts like Mirage, variants of MIG 21 and Sukhoi 30 and jaguar. In the Naval front India owns 10 Russian Kilo-class, four German (Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft) HDW and two almost superseded Foxtrot submarines, none of which are nuclear-powered.