Army denies its chief objected to arms deal with USMay 25th, 2010 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The Indian Army Tuesday denied its chief General V.K. Singh had warned Defence Minister A.K. Antony on government-to-government arms deals with the US.
The denial comes as a section of media reported that the army chief had red-flagged defence purchases from the US through the government-to-government route, calling attention to its serious pitfalls.
A defence ministry officer said the news report was based on “hearsay”.
“The article mentions a letter written by the Chief of Army Staff to the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) A.K. Antony on Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The news item is based on hearsay,” Additional Director General, Public Information, Major General Sanjeev Madhok said in a press statement.
The news report said that General Singh’s letter to Antony, cautioning him about problems that he countered with the FMS, comes at a time when the two sides are in the final stages of finalising two major purchases - one for the army and the other for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The army proposes to buy 145 ultra-light howitzers worth about $647 million, mostly for deployment along the China border, while the IAF is planning to buy 10 C-17 transport aircraft at a cost of over $2.2 billion.
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