Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kalam objected to Barak deal

Kalam objected to Barak deal: "NDTV has learnt that a letter written by President APJ Abdul Kalam in 1999 contradicts claims that he backed the Barak missile deal. Former defense minister George Fernandes, who has been named in an FIR in the Barak missile deal, has claimed that Kalam backed the pact.

But on the contrary, letters written by Kalam, who was the then DRDO chief, show he objected to India buying the Barak missile system. n a related development, the Naval officer in-charge of checking out the Barak missiles system says he had rejected it.

In fact, Vice Admiral (Retd) Madanjit Singh, who was the then Chief of Western Naval Command, said his objections were looked upon as dissent. "Initially during the test firing there were some failures and as a result of that I had raised objections about the Barak missile which were subsequently dealt with.

"The missile was suited to the Israeli system not Indian system. Israeli ships don't stay out at sea for long periods of time whereas Indian Navy ships do," he maintained. But the former Defence Minister continues to be defiant and has once again rejected the charges against him.

The contract for seven Barak Anti-Missile Defence (AMD) Systems and 200 missiles was signed in October 2000 with the Israeli firm."

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