NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it did not include the transfer of technology (ToT) clause in the contract for procurement of around 100 air combat manouvering instrumentation (ACMI) systems from Israeli firm BVR System as only a “limited quantity” of these systems were being purchased.
The ACMI system provides an electronic replay of the entire combat sorties that helps in improving combat and operational skills of fighter pilots.
“The procurement of ACMI pods and associated ground stations was for a limited quantity only and hence ToT was not envisaged at the time of procurement,” the ministry told the PAC, as per the committee’s report tabled in Lok Sabha on Monday.
In between 2007 and 2013, the ministry had procured around 100 ACMI pods and ground stations from BVR Systems for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
“ACMI pods are not specific to any type of aircraft and the current inventory of 100 pods is considered to be adequate to meet the needs of the IAF,” the ministry said, as per the PAC report.
Further, the ongoing project of integration of software defined radios (SFRs) with the fighters would enable the IAF to undertake networked operations, it mentioned.
“The training values accrued from social network operations are more enhanced as compared to that of ACMI operations. Hence for the document of pods is not envisaged,” the ministry noted.
In February 2019, the PAC had tabled its initial report on procurement of the ACMI systems from BVR System, wherein it had asked why ToT was not included while signing the contract with the company.
The ministry had asserted that ToT was not included in the contract as the same was not envisaged in the request for proposal (RFP) stage, but this response was considered by the PAC as inadequate.
Therefore, the ministry gave another response, which was quoted in the fresh PAC report tabled in Lok Sabha on Monday.