India's government auditor has blasted the defence ministry over its Rs1.82 billion ($39 million) acquisition of six obsolete Sikorsky UH-3H helicopters through US government foreign military sales.

According to the comptroller and auditor general, the 1960s vintage aircraft - decommissioned by the US Navy in 2005 - were "life-expired and had defects that could compromise their operational effectiveness".

The comptroller and auditor general adds that the aircraft did not come equipped with any type of weather or surface surveillance radar and the defence ministry failed to secure any "guarantee for the replacement of defective rotables due to obsolescence".

A report to the Indian parliament on the matter further notes that while the navy's "bluewater aspirations" depend on aviation, the existing air fleet will, even with planned inductions, satisfy less than two-thirds of the service's long-range, reconnaissance, combat and anti-submarine warfare needs.

Source: Flight International