Naval chief defends price paid for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorkshov

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New Delhi, July 30 (ANI): The criticism of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for the escalating cost of second-hand aircraft carrier Admiral Gorkshov notwith standing, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Thursday defended the price being paid for the ship.

Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on 'Naval Self Reliance' organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Admiral Mehta challenged anybody to get an aircraft carrier for India under two billion dollars.

Commenting on the CAG's finding that the Navy had not undertaken a risk analysis before going in for price negotiation, Admiral Mehta said, the question did not arise, as the Navy has been searching for a warship since late 90's, and a decision on the Admiral Gorkshov was taken after adequate tests.

Negotiations for the Russian manufactured aircraft carrier were carried out for two-three years before inking the deal in 2004, and it was done with extreme seriousness and there is no question of any laxity, Admiral Mehta added.

Admiral Mehta admitted that as the Navy has to depend on the services and support of the Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) through agencies, these agencies sometimes might not give the job to best suited manufacturer.

He said the Indian Navy has lived with such situations in the past, and the ships have done quite well.

He also described the Sea Eagle missile as an ancient missile. With more indigenous capability coming in, most of these are being brought into naval platforms, he explained. Whatever the India Navy has got through indigenous research and development was perfectly fine, he added.

By 2022, under the plan of Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP), the Indian Navy hopes to become a versatile three-dimensional force with over 160 ships including three aircraft carrier and submarines, more than 300 aircraft and satellite-based surveillance as well as net centric operations to provide force multiplication," Admiral Mehta said.

Admiral Mehta said the upgradation of range of missiles in the recently inducted nuclear submarine INS Arihant would take place at appropriate time.

The Navy has also submitted a proposal of a 'Science and Technology Roadmap-2025'for developing indigenous technology for naval applications to the government, Admiral Mehta informed. (ANI)

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