Now, DRDO chief defends Tatra trucks

March 31st, 2012 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) It was the turn of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Dr. V.K. Saraswat Saturday to defend the Tatra trucks that are at the centre of bribe-offer allegations from army chief Gen. V.K. Singh.

“The Tatra vehicles have given outstanding performance in various terrains at required speeds and we have used them for Prithvi and Agni launches. In our experience, there has not been a bad performance ever or any troubles with Tatra,” Saraswat told a press conference at the defence exposition here.

He said the DRDO had been using Tatra trucks as a platform to carry and fire strategic missiles too during trials.

“Our vehicles are based on what is already inducted into the army, for easier maintenance. Hence we use Tatras,” he said.

“Our experience of using it for launches is very, very positive and not sub-standard,” he said in reply to a question on whether he agreed with the army’s perception that these were sub-standard.

The army had in a press release earlier this year claimed that a retired lieutenant general had offered a bribe to Gen. Singh, who too confirmed it in media interviews, for approving an order for 600 Tatra trucks for the army.

“I don’t mind,” said Saraswat to queries if they will use more Tatras in the future,

Tatra trucks have been defended as the best technology available in the market by its Indian manufacturers BEML, apart from defence ministry officials.

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