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T-72 barrels defective, 26 cases of barrel burst

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 2 (UNI) The government today said there have been 26 cases of barrel burst in the T-72 tanks currently used by the Indian army.

The T-72 barrels are being produced under license according to the technical specifications and guidelines provided by the Russian experts.''All the barrels are tested and proof fired according to the specified quality standards, before issue to the army'', Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He said the barrel involves both the indigenous as well as imported barrels.

Mr Singh said during the last three years, 26 cases of barrel burst were reported, of which 14 were imported barrels and 12 indigenous.

Cases of premature failure or barrel burst have been thoroughly investigated and the opinion of Russian experts was also sought by the Defence Ministry. The suggested improvements in manufacturing process have been implemented and some barrels which were suspected to be defective were segregated and utilised for proof of ammunition only.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said there is a proposal to replace Cheetah helcopters by the end of 12th Plan, as these choppers are old and inadequate for the present operational recquirements.

Also, Advanced Light Helicopters are being gradually inducted in the Indian Army for light utility roles. The Indian Air Force utilises Cheetah, Mi-17, Mi-171v and Advanced Light Helicopters for operating at high altitude and low temperatures .

''Government constantly reviews the security environment and accordingly decides to induct appropriate equipment and to make other arrangements for adequate defence preparedness,'' he said.

Mr Mukherjee said the alleged payment of agency commission by Denel in connection with the contracts of anti material rifles signed in 2002 has been referred to the CBI for investigation, as there was prima facie evidence of violation of clauses relating to use of undue influence and agents commssion.

He said an FIR has alo been filed by the CBI in the matter, inter alia against unknown public servants.


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