Auditor Slams Navy’s Selection Of R-77 Missile

India’s national auditor, in a report released yesterday, has said the Indian Navy chose to buy the Vympel R-77 BVR missile for the MiG-29K weapons package despite adverse observations about the missile’s serviceability by the air force at least six years previously. Here’s what the auditor has observed:

A critical armament for the MiG 29K aircraft is a BVR missile, which augments the ‘Beyond Visual Range’ capability of the aircraft. The [R-77], one such BVR missile was acquired by the Indian Air Force between 1999 and 2002. However, the serviceability status of the missile, in evidence prior to the Navy contract of March 2006, has been poor as brought out in paragraph No. 3.2 of the Report of the C&AG of India, No. CA 18 of 2008-09. High rate of unserviceability was noticed by IAF since 1999 from the first lot of missiles received. By November 2005, IAF decided against refurbishing the missiles “X” after life expiry and started considering a suitable replacement for future procurements. Nonetheless, Indian Navy concluded the contract in March 2006 for supply of armaments for MiG-29K aircraft which, inter alia, catered for supply of 40 Air to Air missiles [R-77] at a cost of USD 21.88 million. Audit noted that there was a delay of 51 months in finalising the weapon package for MiG 29K aircraft, Indian Navy failed to adopt an integrated approach to utilise the data/knowledge base of IAF and consequently ended up by procuring 40 missiles worth USD 21.88 million (Rs 97.67 crore) whose serviceability has been found unreliable by the IAF. Thus, the Ministry modified the decision of CFA by decreasing the quantity of approved armament and procured additional items worth Rs 93.68 crore which were not envisaged at the time of seeking approval of CFA to sustain within the financial ceiling. Further, Indian Navy procured Air to Air missiles [R-77] costing USD 21.88 million which had a track record of poor serviceability for which the IAF is seeking replacement since November 2005. The matter was referred to the Ministry in November 2010; their reply was awaited as of July 2011.

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28 thoughts on “Auditor Slams Navy’s Selection Of R-77 Missile”

  1. I respectfully disagree with CAG report. We cannot let the accountants run our defense. The R-77 may have high service rate but is also among the most advanced BVR missiles in the world. IAF has every right to select what it wants and no auditor sitting in an AC office be allowed to mess up our defense.

    Cheaper missiles may reduce costs but may very well lose the lives and even wars. Let me say it again: We cant let accountants run our defense.

  2. As a part of real solutions, such reports should also provide the technical and financial alternatives, so that the faults can be understood in practical perspective.

  3. @ amit, accountant doesn't run defense nor does it our economy.when the same accountant unearthed 2g scam u seem to be very happy.
    It has a job n it is doing it well.
    It is not shouting like a mad person, it has the reports suggesting high unservicability rate as stated by the iaf .it only has asked 'why these reports were not considered in course of purchase' n as an accountant it has every right to ask.
    This is y its sitting there.

  4. is CAG is against our armed forces ? its best in the world!!! it has high maneuverability than its counterpart AIM 120 and DERBY and technology is also new . i think CAG is anti Indian institute which only find wrong flaws.its primary BVR missile used by IAF.older mig 29 jets cant fire this missile only mig 29k can do this.buying cheap is not good thing.think beyond financial.

  5. R-77 is good. period.

    my only concern is IN bought just 40 missiles? – that sucks..they want to ration missiles during war?


    p.s any idea how many the AF has?

  6. The most fundemental and basis question to be asked is this: what caused the R-77s to become unserviceable? There's what the CAG rewport does not state and I wish its reports would be comprehensive in future to give the full picture: It was the perishable NiCad batteries on board these BVRAAMs that became unserviceable due to the lack of proper storage facilities. Replace the faulity batteries new new ones and the problem gets solved. It's that simple. That's how the problem of unserviceability was reso9lved. I'm pretty sure the Navy has drawn the correct lessons and therefore it would be improper and highly premature on the part of CAG to admonish the Navy. Afterall, the Navy's stock of R-77s has not been declared unserviceable.

  7. @Dhruv Air force shall have every right to decide what it wants. People forget that CAG is interested only in dates and cost they have absolutely no knowledge of battlefield. They raise their concern only thinking in one-dimension i.e. finance.

  8. Does the CAG find anything done by our government appropriate? I mean if there are errors in almost every defence contract signed but obviously nothing is done to fix them, why do we even bother having a CAG auditing these deals. I feel like these reports keep coming up and fade away withing days are no one is held accountable for anything in our country. It's almost unpatriotic!

  9. @DHRUV
    If you think whatever CAG says is gospel, then i strongly suggest you read these:
    It shows how the team that acctualy did the 2G accounting were forced by HQ to come with those loss figures which they didnt real believe in themselves!

    Then there is this:
    Which shows how CAG covered up a report that exposed the corruption within all levels of the organisation.

    CAG is nowadays well & truly playing to the galleries.
    Unfortunately people get carried away without thinking for themselves.

  10. our military should take care of all these report while purchasing these type of important arsenal……………..

    Any progress report on Our Astra missile Mr. Shiv

  11. Firstly the report is for further evaluation so can't comment on it.

    But the open question arises that why the responsible officers who are involved in defence deals are following delay tactics?

    Simply to avoid the another kind of Bofors disaster where "the tax payers money is misused".It has been very well seen after Bofors scam that our defence acquisitions are on back gear.

    Again these officers for the defence deals are holding this position at the expense of tax payers money. They are delaying the deals so that nothing happens in their tenure and are set free. This is a viscious cycle.

    Gainers – India's neighbour.
    Loosers – Countrymen of India.

    So someone has to definitely take the responsibility to defend our country. For this strong leadership and command must be adopted by the Government and the oppostion.

    Atlast we cannot send our soldiers to fight in the battle empty handed.

  12. CAG is slamming the defence organisations for unreliable, costly and outdated defence deals.

    But why they are quiet when the question arises for our inability for indigeneous development of these defence products.

  13. Uhhh… all these arguments about how awesome the R-77 is, or how good the IN/IAF are, are pointless without asking a more basic question: is the radar and fire-control system of the MiG-29K compatible with *any* other active radar guided BVR missile aside from the R-77? If it isn't, then what is all the brouhaha about?

  14. ISI could not have a better job of exposing India's vulnerabilities and stocks of this vital weapon. #CAG should have made this report classified, so that Defence Minister and Airforce Chief could get a copy under seal. After all, the CAG is not alleging any theft of public funds, rather shoddy practices.

    It amazes me about the application of mind, which obviously is absent. In other parts of the report, the CAG tries to be James Bond, by saying Aircraft "D" etc in an effort to show they are being discreet, but in the next sentence they mention a payment made in Euros. Now let us see which aircraft they are referring to?? Even a kid can figure out that we operate only one aircraft which could be in Euros, i.e., Mirage 2000, because both AJT Hawk and Jaguar are both British and British currency is Sterling Pounds, as they never switched to Euros. There are many other examples. So you see the level of people doing the "Audit"?

    BTW Pakistan has over 500 of the world's most advanced and battle proven AIM 120 C-5 AMRAAM. They have asked US for additional 500 AIM C-120-5 missiles. The issue here is that AIM 120 has proven in battle numerous times with many kills. R77, which is the Russian copy of the AIM 120 has no kills so far. This is the fact.

  15. This is an eye opener Shiv. I thought R77 was a very good missile. As posted "IAF decided against refurbishing the missiles “X” after life expiry and started considering a suitable replacement for future procurements"

    And I think this stands, if IAF looking for an replacement, why did IN consider the missile?

    This also shows that IN and IAF don't work in sync but more like two different government bodies which again is a point of notice.

    To all the friends, C&AG are there for a reason, they are not anti-weapon procurement but an audit system. Irregularities must be check. If a weapon system is not giving it's worth we have the right to look for an alternate.

  16. Another flame bait to encite anti Russian feelings. Sometimes wonder if sections of media want to create a wedge between time trusted allies as a part of larger conspiracies. Now the facts:

    1. The R77 is one of the best BVR AAM in the world.

    2. IAF R77 had reliability issues that have since een ironed out completely after changes in storage conditions.

    3. The MiG-29 ZHUK radar is not compatible with missiles like Derby (which itself was slammed by CAG for being a deficient system). So the recommendations are at best academic in nature.

    4. Indian Navy correctly deduced that the R77 is a reliable system and its storage issues have been successfuly resolved in India.

    5. An arsenal of 40 missiles are inadequete, but futher orders will definitely be placed.

  17. Er, accountants do and should be part of decision making in defence and other fields. If they weren't we would just buy 1,000 F-22s, build a million ICBMs and 30 Nimitz class carriers. Then we would be a superpower — yee haw!

  18. None of the countries who bought the F-77 (China for example) never complained about the quality of this rocket. Why? Because miser pays twice, three times blunt, but always pays a Hindu, because the greedy and stupid. You offered to launch a tropical version? Offered! But your "wise" military refused – it's expensive. You have been told that the missiles require special storage? Say! But you have them lying around in the open. So maybe it's not rocket bad? Maybe the whole thing in an ordinary greed and stupidity?

  19. Auditor cannot comment on selection of a weapon. a soldier is the best judge of what is required. will the auditor stand up and face the enemy fire?? ridiculous.. it's like somebody (Finance ) commenting on a doctor's surgery or the selection of equipment for a critical surgery. does the auditor knbow what he is hooting???

  20. what does this in the below mentioned comment by anonymous mean? Can anybody explain?

    "Why? Because miser pays twice, three times blunt, but always pays a Hindu, because the greedy and stupid."

  21. miser twice, blunt thrice, and hindu always, means hindus are dumb and complain about good R-77 and looking for alternatives for the best. 😛 im also a hindu that hit me… but i understand the system.. 🙂

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