Procurement of two transport aircraft for BSF may be scrapped

Official sources said the government will also float a new international tender for procuring the big air machines.

The deal had hit rough weather just before finalisation in December last year after certain alleged discrepancies came to light in connection with technical specifications, forcing the Home Ministry and Indian Air Force (IAF) to order an enquiry.

Sources said the authorities have decided to go for fresh tendering to eliminate all discrepancies while the enquiries already ordered will find out the complicity of individuals involved.

The planes were to transport troops, equipment and other logistical requirements.
IAF sources said an enquiry was instituted into the matter in the last week of December. The Home Ministry has also ordered an enquiry after it was found that BSF documents were possibly tampered with, the sources said.

They said the discrepancies came to light recently during negotiations with an international firm, which had shown interest in the multi-million dollar deal.

The sources said during the negotiations, which were in final stages, it was noticed that certain changes in technical specifications including radar systems were made. Those papers carried signatures of Air Force officials.

They said the inquiry will look into whether signatures were forged or someone had signed without taking the entire technical committee into confidence.

The government had in 2009 approved the expansion plans of the Air Wing of the BSF.
Under the plan, the BSF was to induct eight helicopters and three aircraft for patrolling the borders and to transport men and material in case of emergency.

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