Beijng, October 15: A commentary on the official website of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has mocked the Indian military enterprises for widespread problems including “appalling graft”, and lack of indigenous industrial strength and talent.
Published last week, the commentary titled “Indian military industry suffocated by troubles”, takes off, focusing on the recent theft on INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), which is being built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kerala.
The theft was reported last month after four computers on INS Vikrant were dismantled, and four hard disks, RAMs and processors were reportedly stolen.
Quoting Indian military officials who said the reported theft will not impact national security as the carrier had been delivered to the navy yet, the PLA commentary said: “But whether this will affect India’s national security or not, the long-standing problems of India’s military industry were once again laid bare in front of the world”.
The commentary – written by Li Ning and Wan Songjing and carried on China Military Online — then launched on how weak Indian military enterprises were in making new equipment and how they fail to meet deadlines.
“The aircraft carrier Vikrant where the theft took place started construction in 2008 and was originally scheduled to be launched in 2010 but didn’t make it until 2013 due to a lack of experience and poor industrial strength. It is expected to be delivered in 2021,” it said.
Although the aircraft carrier was “formally” launched in 2013, it was only 30 percent, the commentary said.
“Besides, it has also been twice transferred from dry dock into the water, informally, one time in 2011 when the shipyard needed the dry dock for other projects and the other time in 2015, when Vikrant was brought back to the dry dock to continue construction after it was officially launched.”
Li and Wan then took potshots at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. or HAL, the only aircraft manufacturer of India.
“In the decade from 1994 to 2004, HAL assembled two Mig-21 warplanes and overhauled eight ones, eight of which crashed; assembled three SEPECAT Jaguar attackers and overhauled five ones, six of which crashed; overhauled four Mirage 2000 fighters and three Mig-29 ones, all of which crashed,” Li and Wan wrote.
The authors said problems in Indian military enterprises include dependency on imports and the country’s weak industrial foundation.
“Meanwhile, India is short of military-industrial talents, who cannot meet the country’s needs for military-industrial development either in quality or quantity. As a result, India’s military-industrial project easily lasts for decades.”
The commentary gave the example of the development of India’s Nag missile.
“For instance, it began to develop the Nag anti-tank missile in the 1980s, but the missile was only put into mass production this year, lasting more than 30 years across two centuries.”
“Moreover, corruption and graft are appalling in India’s military procurement and any sale of homemade equipment comes with a kickback.” (Courtesy: HT)