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Antony ‘anxious’ to get timely delivery of defence procurements

New Delhi, May 28 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said that he was ‘anxious’ to get timely delivery of defence procurements as it controls rise in costs, and wants suppliers to fulfil their commitment in time.

“I conveyed my anxieties to both of them, Israeli and Russian ambassadors, here that they will deliver the remaining two AWACS in time. The anxiety is not country centric,” Antony said after inducting the first of the three airborne early warning and control systems (AWACS) in the Indian Air Force.

The IAF has raised a new squadron of AWACS, which will be called ‘Squadron 50′. Two more AWACS will be inducted in the squadron by the end of the next year.

The Israeli-built system is mounted on a Russian-built IL-76 transport aircraft as a part of the tripartite agreement between India, Israel and Russia signed in 2004.

“The AWACS project was signed in 2004. Five years is too long a time.  I hope the Governments of Russia and Israel and the hard work of our people will help us in getting the other two AWACS on time,” Antony said.

“In last five years there has been a remarkable change in the procurement process. We have to further speed up the process as emerging security scenario demands equipping of the armed forces with far more modern techniques,” Antony said.

Antony pointed that the delay in delivery results in technology becoming old in the wake of speedy technological advancement and escalation of costs.

“Cost escalation is a problem including with Russia and other countries. The real answer is to get the delivery on time. We are in constant touch with countries who supply to India…. We are trying to impress upon countries at the highest level to get products delivered on time, which requires constant monitoring,” he added.

Russians is now demanding 2.9 billion dollars for the Admiral Gorshkov which was initially priced at 1.5 billion dollars.

Sources say that Moscow is also planning to hike the price of INS Chakra, the Russian-built nuclear-powered attack Akula class submarine.

“In the last meeting with the Russian Defence Minister we decided to speed up all defence procurements. Defence Secretary Vijay Singh will be reaching Moscow on Sunday to speed up the remaining projects,’ Antony said. (ANI)

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