Thirty per cent of India's locally built Akash surface-to-air missiles (SAM) supplied to the Indian Air Force are found to be faulty, the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) has observed.
About 30 per cent of "strategic missiles" made by BEL - a defence public sector unit - failed when they were test-fired, the CAG repord said. There is also an operational risk with these missiles, India Today reported citing the report tabled in the Parliament Friday.
"The larger issue is that 30 per cent failure rate of the sample tested puts a question mark on the reliability, based on which 95 per cent of the payment was already done", the CAG said.
CAG has also discovered that a life-span of atleast 70 missiles have decreased by three years owing to the fact that there was lack of storage facility. Approximately each each missile is worth a few hundred crores.
The missiles were to be positioned in the vulnerable Siliguri corridor (known as the Chicken's neck) to take-down incoming Chinese Air Force fighters, have not been installed.
The stand-off at Doklam in Bhutan between Indian and Chinese troops is a few kilometres away from the Siliguri Corridor.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the BRICS NSAs meeting in Beijing.
"The missile systems were to be installed at six designated sites between 2013 and 2015", the report says. However, till now none of the missiles systems have been installed.
The total cost of the project was about Rs 3,900 crore (US$607.9 million) out of which the IAF has already paid Rs 3,800 crore.
The IAF was to deploy six Akash missile squadrons east to counter China's build-up of military infrastructure all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). China has eight fully-operational airbases in Tibet