India’s Comptroller and Auditor General report highlights that Chinook helicopter did not meet eight while the Mi-26 did not meet five ASQR parameters. The CAG report reveals that revised ASQR parameters were in favour of the Chinook helicopter.
The Comptroller and Auditor General said that there were inadequate field evaluation trials for both the Chinook CH-47, manufactured in the US and its competitor, the Russian Mi-26.
In audit’s paragraph titled “ASQRs (Air Staff Qualitative Requirements) aligned to Chinook”, declared that though the existing Mi-26 helicopters were to be replaced with new heavy-lift helicopters (HLH), “the parameters formulated for procurement were much lower”.
The CAG report emphasised saying, “The max payload capacity was reduced to 11,000 kgs as against the 20,000 kgs of Mi 26 helicopters. Seating capacity was also reduced to 45 troops as against the 82 troops of Mi-26 helicopters.”
The “revised ASQR parameters matched those of the Chinook helicopter”, said CAG report supporting that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) did not contest the fact that the ASQRs were aligned to Chinook helicopter.
Further, the report highlights that at the time of the Field Evaluation Trials, the Chinook helicopter did not meet eight critical ASQR parameters while the Mi-26 did not meet five ASQR parameters. The CAG report states that the ASQR parameters were changed five times between 2006 and 2009. Therefore the ASQRs were being planned in consultation with the vendors “or in other words were being modified according to what was offered by them rather than the user need”.
The CAG report says that there was a large difference between the payload capacity of Mi-26 helicopter and CH-47. The Mi-26 helicopter is capable of carrying 20 tonnes in a single drop mission as against the payload of 11 tonnes by the CH-47 helicopter. The CH-47 would have to make double the trips as compared to the Mi-26 helicopter for transporting weapons, equipment, and men to support combat operation.
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