A parliamentary panel has raised concern over the Defence Ministry not including the Transfer of Technology (ToT) clause in a deal to procure an advanced maneuvering system for the Air Force that enhances safety during air-combat exercises. The Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) System, a technology available with only a few manufacturers in the world, was purchased from BVR Systems Limited, Israel, which was the Original Equipment Manufacturer, and stood as L-1 (lowest bidder) vendor for the system.
The ACMI System consists of two major components: One is the Airborne Implementation System (AIS pod), which is externally mounted on the aircraft. The pod interfaces with aircraft systems and records the aircraft data for its transmission to the ground station. The second component is Ground Exploitation (debriefing) station (GES), which defines pre-flight mission-specific parameters, real-time monitoring of combat missions and post-flights analysis and de-briefing.
The ACMI System provides cost-effective real-time training, effective debriefing, real-time weapon hit/miss assessments and enhanced safety during air-combat exercises. The IAF procured three ACMI System and 46 external pods at a cost of Rs 79.57 crore and two additional ACMI Systems and 54 pods at a cost of Rs 87.56 crore.
"The committee fails to understand as to why ToT was not included while signing the contract. The committee is not convinced that ToT was not included in the contract as the same was not envisaged in Request for Proposal (RFP)," the panel said. The panel added it was unable to understand why the ToT clause was not included in the RFP Rs 167 crore - for 100 pods and five ACMI Systems - is not a small amount. The ToT, it said, would help the IAF in long run in achieving self-sufficiency.
(With inputs from agencies.)