Flag accident report involving uncertified engines.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) recommended an investigation into the purchase by the Indian Air Force (IAF) of five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) engines in 2010, noting that the same engines were purchased by an Organization of Defense Research and Development (DRDO) at almost a third of the price two years later, resulting in an undue profit for the supplier of ₹ 3.16 crore. The CAG recommended “laying down liability for incorrect supply and acceptance of IAF mislabeled engines.”
“Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Ltd. made an undue profit of ₹ 3.16 crore, supplying five UAV engines at more than three times the market price. Non-certified engines supplied by the supplier while the contract for certified engines was concluded, ”the CAG said in a report presented in Parliament on Wednesday. “There were many reported accidents involving these uncertified engines, including the loss of a UAV in a plane crash,” the report said.
In March 2010, Air headquarters concluded a contract with the Israel IAI for the supply of accessories and spare parts for Heron UAVs, at a cost of $136.43 million (₹ 9.07 crore), which included the supply of five Rotax 914 F3 engines to install on the Garzas. The Rotax engines used at Herons are manufactured by an Austrian company comprising the 914F, which is a certified engine, while the 914UL is a non-certified engine.
The average price of Rotax engines on the international market was around 21 lakh to 25 lakh. The audit noted that the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO laboratory, had gained the same variant of the Rotax 914F in April 2012.
ADE had purchased 914F engines at ₹ 24.30 lakh each from Verman Aviation, an allowed Indian Rotax supplier. However, IAI supplied the 914UL engine to IAF in 2010 for ₹ 87.45 lakh each, “over three times the price paid by DRDO or the market price.”
The contract stipulated that the engine to be supplied was of the 914F3 specification, which is certified by the European Aviation Standards Agency. However, documents submitted to the CAG related to the delivery of one of the five engines show that the supplier had supplied the non-certified 914UL engine.
A team of IAF and IAI representatives carried out the Joint Receipt Inspection (JRI) of the shipment and accepted the engines in January 2012, but could not detect the fact that the delivery was not under contract as it was not They had a copy of the contract while the inspection was being done.
According to the contract, the engines were to be delivered to an IAF Equipment Depot (ED) “which was the final consignee”, but the records showed that an engine was delivered to an Air Force station and not to the ED designated, the CAG noted.