Indian report slams military aerostat use

Bangalore
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
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India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has criticised the nation's air force for failing to keep two Israeli-supplied aerostat-based radars in operational condition. The equipment was acquired for a combined total of Indian rupee (Rs) 676 million ($14 million).

One of the systems was damaged in 2009, while deployed on India's western border, after air force personnel failed to properly monitor forecast weather conditions. The damaged sensor is unlikely to be available for another two years.

Meanwhile, the fabric on the other aerostat has started decaying, leading to the leakage of excessive amounts of helium.

The CAG said the service's failure to sign a deal with Israel-based Rafael to fix the problem led to it spending an extra Rs10 million per year on gas supplies.

"The case shows improper planning and an unprofessional approach on the part of the Indian air force, for optimal utilisation of a system that was procured at a huge cost," the CAG said.