New Delhi, Apr. 22 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said that the matter related to the holding of Field Evaluation Trials (FET) of AW-101 and S-92 helicopters abroad at the vendor premises was first placed before the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) in its meeting of September 5, 2007.
In a written reply to AdhiSankar in the Lok Sabha today, Antony said it was during this meeting, it was decided that vendors will be asked to make the trial helicopters available in India, and if they still had difficulties in doing so, the matter could be reconsidered.
“Both the vendors, however, continued to express their inability to provide their helicopters for FET in India stating that this would entail considerable delays on account of availability of suitably configured helicopters and the need to dismantle and reassemble them for transportation to India,” said Antony.
“Based on lAF’s recommendations, the matter was again discussed in the DPB meeting on 31.10.2007. After due deliberations, the DPB recommended FET abroad at locations specified by the vendors. When this matter came to the Government, the rationale for conducting FET at vendors specified locations was questioned,” he added.
Antony further said ‘the Air Headquarters, after examining the matter, responded that the conduct of FET abroad would have no shortfalls in the evaluation process, the trial team was fully competent to carry out the task assigned to it and that there were benefits of speedier execution of trials and exploiting the facilities of the vendors at their Flight Test Centres’.
“The recommendations of the DPB were then approved by the competent authority,” he added. (ANI)