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AgustaWestland Chopper Scam “torpedoes” Indian Navy Scorpenes

The Indian Navy has been unable to obtain heavy weight torpedoes from a Finmeccanica group company, Wass for installation on its Scorpene submarines owing to the Italian company being blacklisted in India. Wass Italy had won a contract to supply heavy weight tropedoes for the Navy’s Project 75 submarines in 2014. The Indian Navy needs to install the torpedoes on the Scorpenes which are being built with technology from DCNS, France.

Despite emerging as a successful bidder, Wass has not been able to enter into contract negotiations due to the blacklisting of its parent company, Finmeccanica in the AgustaWestland chopper scam. Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar told parliament yesterday that Finmeccanica is facing a partial ban under the graded blacklisting norms notified in August last year following the VVIP helicopter scam in which another subsidiary AgustaWestland is involved. As per the norms no fresh deals with the company is possible.

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“The procurement has been put on hold in July 2014 due to the group’s involvement in the VVIP helicopter case. Indian Navy has been requesting for continuing the procurement process considering national security imperatives. It has been decided to seek opinion in the matter from the Ministry of Law and Justice,” Parrikar said. Indian Navy has been pushing for the torpedo purchase as the Scorpenes being manufactured at a shipyard in Mumbai are literally toothless without their primary weapons, the torpedoes.

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