Pilots training to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy are flying jets fitted with inferior engines and “Category B” or “second-hand components” that seriously affect the “quality of the aircraft”, a recent audit by the Comptroller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) according to Hindustan Times.
India bought 123 Hawk – 106 for IAF and 17 for the Navy from British company BAES in 2004. 28 of these 123 jets were to be bought in flyaway condition whereas the 116 were to be assembled by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with the engines being made by it based on technology transfer.
The total value of the deal was about $2 billion. The aircraft were ordered in three phases, starting March 2004.
The problem is with the aircraft assembled in India, according to the audit.
The report stated that, “a large number of second-hand components and parts have been fitted in the aircraft.
And, although India specifically bans using agents, a middleman was involved, the inquiry found.
The audit estimates illegal commission worth 5 billion Indian Rupee was paid.
“In our findings, a linkage between commission paid and compromises made on the quality of engines, which has affected the quality of aircraft has been clearly brought out,” the audit report says.
Rolls-Royce, used agents to secure defence contracts which is prohibited, Rolls-Royce disguised its use of middlemen as “general consulting services”. The company also admitted paying to retrieve a leaked list of intermediaries after they were obtained by the Indian tax authorities. Hawks fly with Rolls Royce Adour MK 871 Turbofan engine.