Indian defense minister angered by carrier delays

Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

NEW DELHI, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony wants production of India's first indigenous aircraft carrier speeded up.

India's first indigenous carrier is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Ltd. in Kerala state.

Frustrated by the pace of construction, Antony urged all involved parties to pool their efforts to hasten building the IAC.

Antony told a high-level review meeting in New Delhi that further delays would carry consequences.

"We cannot go on hearing about excuses. Henceforth accountability will be fixed in case of slippages in the construction of the warship which is a national project," Antony said.

Antony's comments came during a Defense Ministry meeting that reviewed the progress of the carrier's construction, with Minister of State in the Defense Ministry Jitendra Singh, Navy Chief Adm. D.K. Joshi, Defense Secretary Shashikant Sharma and Cochin Shipyard Ltd. senior officials of the CSL among the attendees.

The 40,000-ton carrier was to be inducted into the Indian Navy by 2014-15 but delays have resulted in a new target date of 2018. The schedule slide is also adding to the cost of the project.

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