New Delhi: Anglo-Italian defence firm AgustaWestland has participated in bids to procure choppers for Indian Navy and Coast Guard as no decision has been taken by the government to debar it from the procurement process, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha on Monday.
In a written reply to the House, he said the Request for Proposal (RFP) for procurement of the Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) was issued before commencement of CBI inquiry in the VVIP helicopter case.
"Since no decision to debar the said company (AgustaWestland) from participation in the procurement process has so far been taken, the bids are under process," he said.
On whether AgustaWestland has applied for tenders for supply of helicopters for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, Antony said, "Yes... RFP for procurement of 56 NUH was issued in August 2012, prior to commencement of inquiry by CBI in the VVIP helicopter case."
RFP for procurement of 14 twin-engine helicopters for the Indian Coast Guard was likewise issued in November 2012, he added. "Only two companies have submitted bids for the NUH case and three companies submitted bids for the twin-engine helicopter case. The bidders include AgustaWestland," Antony said.
In reply to a separate question on modernisation of Navy, he said, "The budget allocation of Indian Navy for 2013-14 is Rs 34,212.33 crore, out of which Rs 22,738.70 crore is earmarked for modernisation purpose."