The Indian government has deputed its supreme investigative body to probe the theft of hardware from an aircraft carrier that is currently under construction, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in parliament on Monday.
According to the minister, Cochin Shipyard, the manufacturer of the carrier, reported the theft of the hardware linked to the ship's integrated management system in September.
According to the manufacturer, on 16 September there was a theft of “certain commercially off the shelf hardware items from multi-function consoles of Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) onboard Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC).”
“Security has already been enhanced at sensitive points in the yard as per the recommendations of the Kerala Police and other Central Security Agencies,” the minister added while saying videography of both gangways to the ship, operationalisation of CCTVs, biometric access control, locking of sensitive compartments etc. have been taken up.
Police source said that a console, 10 hard disks, three CPUs and processors went missing from Vikrant. Investigations by the Kerala Police and the National Investigation Agency are underway.
Police said at least 1,300 workers were working on the ship's construction when the incident took place.
Designed, manufactured and tested at BHEL Bengaluru jointly with GE-Avio (Italy), the manufacturer claimed that IPMS is unique, technology intensive and sophisticated.
Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) is a distributed control and monitoring system (with 13,000 inputs/outputs) of the ship’s machinery related to propulsion, power generation & distribution, and auxiliary machinery.
“Vikrant”, once ready, will be capable of operating Russian MiG-29K aircraft. It will also deploy the Kamov 31 and the indigenously developed ALH helicopter. The ship will be able to stay at sea for 45 days with a range of 7,500 Nautical Miles at a speed of 18 knots.