Indian Navy’s eight front-line submarines operate with a single functional periscope, which makes them less efficient when deployed, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) revealed.
In a report tabled in Parliament, the federal auditor pointed out that eight of India's 13 submarines currently operate single functional periscope and to install second one will take more than five years, Sputnik reports.
Even though the foreign supplier firm delivered seven periscopes between March and November 2016 they came long after the refit window when these instruments were to be fitted. The delay, noted a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General, was purely bureaucratic.
"Undue delay of 34 months in issuing of necessary approvals by the Ministry led to delay in installation of periscopes on board the submarines during their planned refits. Consequently, the Indian Navy was forced to exploit the Sindhughosh class of submarines with the existing periscopes with its limitations for at least 22 to 62 months till their next scheduled refits," CAG noted in its report.
"Limitations in these periscopes have an adverse impact on the safety and efficiency in the operations of submarines," it said further.
Existing periscopes in eight submarines lack night vision/low light vision capability and had only rudimentary ergonomics and monocular vision, which seriously limited the overall effectiveness of the periscopes and put excessive strain on the personnel operating the periscope, the report points out.
The US Firm Kollmorgen won $39.74 million deal in October 2011 to replace one periscope each on all Navy’s Russian-origin Sindhughosh class submarines by December 2016. But problems started with the acquisition of Kollmorgen by L-3 Communication in 2012 wherein consent was required from the Indian Navy for transfer and assignment of the contract. The Indian government took more than two years for granting such approval to L-3 Communication with the amendment in the contract signed in 2011.