AgustaWestland has invoked arbitration over the contract to supply AW101 VVIP helicopters to India, the company announced in a statement.
Earlier this year, India froze payments worth $762 million to supply 12 VVIP helicopters after the Finmeccanica CEO was arrested in connection to the bribery scandal in February.
Both countries are in the middle separate investigations looking into allegations that the company used middlemen to bribe Indian officials to ensure it won the VVIP contract.
“AgustaWestland remains totally committed to working with the Government of India to resolve the issues confronting us and to allow the Indian armed forces to receive the equipment they need. However, we do not see how we can achieve this if a dialogue is not established,” according to the statement. “The ongoing need to resolve this issue has left AgustaWestland with no other option but to invoke arbitration through Counsel; the next step prescribed by the contract. This is not a step we take lightly.”
Under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996, Arbitration would be conducted in India and the proceedings will be confidential, according to the company.
Of the three arbitrators, one each would be chosen by the buyer and seller and the third would be nominated under the agreement of both sides, the company added.
India has already taken delivery of three of the 12 helicopters and three more are ready to be delivered.