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No problem faced by Army in using existing gun systems: Govt


NEW DELHI (PTI): The government Monday denied any technical and operational problem being faced by the Army in using its existing gun systems.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister A K Antony said there are no technical problems reported.

However, due to "vintage" nature and "exploitation" of the guns, mechanical problems of routine nature do come up from time to time," he said.

"These are rectified by the repair and maintenance agencies either in situ or at the workshops established for the purpose," he said.

He also noted that the government had secured the right of transfer of technology (ToT) during the purchase of Bofors guns.

"Though all the technological documents as per the ToT contract were received by Ordnance Factory Board (OFC) from AB Bofors, it was not carried forward as the dealings with the technology provider was suspended," Antony told the House.

Further, no indent was placed by the Army on OFB for manufacture and supply of complete gun system, he said.

On upgradation and modernisation of ordnance factories manufacturing guns for the Army, the Defence Minister said the government has sanctioned a capital expenditure of Rs 376.55 crore in its recent budget for the purpose.

"Capital expenditure of Rs 376.55 crore has been sanctioned by the government in March, 2012 for creation and augmentation of large calibre weapon manufacturing capacity in ordnance factories," he said.

Replying to a question on funds allocated for modernisation of the defence forces, Antony said that Rs 54,598.02 crore was allocated for capital acquistion by the three services in 2011-12.

Tabling a report on financial allocation for modernisation of armed forces, he said Rs 49,009.45 crore was sanctioned under the revised estimates last year.

"The allocation of funds for modernisation has been revised based on funds provided by the Finance Ministry in RE in 2011-12 in the capital segment of defence services estimates," Antony said.

"However, additional allocation of Rs 2585 crore has been made for other capital requirements of the Army including supply of capital equipment from ordnance factories," he added.

The minister told the House that modernisation of the armed forces including the Coast Guard is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges, technological changes and available resources.

"The process is based on a 15-year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), five year Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) and Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP)," he said.

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