New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council is set to meet on Monday where a decision is expected on replacing the military's ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters of the Indian Air Force. The meet comes amidst allegations of bribery which threaten to torpedo the VVIP helicopter deal.
Italian defence major Finmeccanica stands to lose thousands of crores in Indian orders if it is proved that its subsidiary AgustaWestland did give bribe for a contract. Another one of its companies, WASS, is close to clinching a contract to supply more than 200 Blackshark heavyweight torpedos that will arm Scorpene submarines.
The same torpedos will equip the nuclear submarine Arihant and the proposed Project 75I line of conventional submarines. However, allegations of rigging in procurement as claimed by rival German firm Atlas Electronik which is pushing its own torpedo could jeopardise WASS' bid.
Atlas has alleged the procurement process was rigged to favour WASS. Even a suspicion of wrongdoing maybe enough for Defence Minister AK Antony to abort the procurement of not only the torpoedos but also the VVIP helicopters.