The VVIP chopper scam involving Italian firm AgustaWestland has put a dent on the future projects of the Indian Navy.
More than a dozen under-construction warships, including the upcoming sea-borne aircraft carrier and the Scorpene Submarines, were built according to specifications of certain types of weaponry or radars. And several European systems are produced by Finmeccanica, the mother company of AgustaWestland.
India’s Ministry of Defence is currently looking at this matter to find a way to continue supply of the required systems for the Navy projects.
Speaking in Parliament on May 6, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was categorical that he was not going to blacklist Finmeccanica. The Army, Navy and IAF have several equipment that have parts produced by Finmeccanica and all contracts already signed have been put on hold. However, the company cannot bid for future contracts, Parrikar had said, Tribune India reported Monday.
The MoD has asked the Navy to look at other alternatives but again this could take years to fructify, according to the report.
As of now, the subsidiaries of Finmeccanica – Selex, Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquel (WASS) and Otomelara are responsible to supply high-powered radar for the under-construction aircraft carrier, Vikrant; a heavyweight torpedo for the first of the six Scorpene submarines and 127 mm ship-deck guns for the four of the Visakhapatnam-class guided missiles destroyers, respectively.
Four of the Kamorta-class corvettes need short-range surface-to-air missiles (SRSAM) from the supplier MBDA which also has a link to Finmeccanica. Two such ships are still under construction.