Amid rumors of kickbacks over the procurement of Naval Barak anti-missile defense system from Israel , there is increasing evidence that most projects undertaken by the Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) are behind schedule. While there have been several successes such as the Agni, Prithivi, Nag, and Akash missiles, most of the other projects are delayed beyond recognition.
The Navy had bought the Barak system to safeguard its naval fleet because it is susceptible to missiles and the DRDO was unwilling to provide concrete delivery plans that the Navy could use to plan their operations. However, a new controversy has arisen because of the former Defense Minister acceding to Navy’s request for an importing a missile defense system approved the import of the Barak system from Israel but overruling objections from the DRDO. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has even fielded a First Information Report (FIR), a short form to say that there is cause for arrest.
After the notice was filed, other dissenting voices emerged from former naval officers saying that the Barak system is completely the wrong choice for India because of technical reasons. They say that the Israeli Navy is not advanced enough to address feature requirements of the Indian Navy for a host of reasons. First, their Navy is much smaller than India ’s. Second, their patrolling duties cover just a day while the Indian Navy ships are out for several months at a time. Third, the scope and area of operation for Israel is only a small portion of what is covered by the Indian Navy. Fourth, India has a blue water Navy covering open seas while Israel at best covers only grey water along the shores. Fifth, the Indian Navy has to contend with a host of potential threats from Pakistan to China while the Israelis would have to only stop fast attack boats. Sixth, the range of threats for India range from asserting fishing rights to tracking and destroying submarines to shooting down nuclear missiles launched from submarines to operating multiple aircraft carriers.