Has US sold India defence equipment with dud Chinese parts?

New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence is investigating the possibility that crucial and expensive equipment bought from the US includes defective Chinese parts.

Defence Minister A K Antony today told the Rajya Sabha that the”Government is verifying reports” about this.

A US Senate investigation has concluded that between 2009 and 2010, 1800 incidents were detected in which more than a million fake parts had been sourced from China. The US Senate panel report that was released this May states that counterfeit electronic parts from China were used in the Air Force’s C-130J cargo plane, helicopters for special operations and the Navy’s Poseidon surveillance plane.

India has purchased six C-130J aircraft from the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The planes have joined the IAF fleet and are based at Hindon near Delhi. Also New Delhi has signed on to buy the Poseidon ( named P8I) surveillance plane from Boeing.

In the last five years, India has shopped extensively with the US for its defence needs. Its purchases include the Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa, UH-3H helicopters, Harpoon missiles, Long Range Acoustic Devices, and more.

In a related development,  Mr Antony told the Parliament that the proposal for procurement of the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) is currently at the stage of commercial discussions.” The first of these aircraft are expected to join the Indian Air Force in 2017.

French made Rafale aircrafts have been short listed from six competitors which included US made F- 16s, Swiss made Gripen’s and Russian made MiG-35.

The purchase of 126 fighter aircraft – pegged at a cost of at least USD 10.4 bn, making it one the biggest-ever defence deals.

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