India scraps $753m Finmeccanica helicopter deal

File photo of Agustawestland helicopter AW-109 Agusta Westland is the helicopter arm of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica

Related Stories

India has cancelled a $753m (£455m) helicopter deal with Italian defence giant Finmeccanica after allegations of corruption, officials say.

The contract was for 12 luxury helicopters to transport VIPs.

Defence officials said they scrapped the deal because an integrity pact had been breached by the firm's Anglo-Italian helicopter arm AgustaWestland.

India suspended payments in February after allegations that AgustaWestland paid bribes to win the contract.

The deal for 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters was signed in February 2010 after the company beat off competition from US and Russian rivals.

The aircraft were for an elite squadron of the Indian Air Force which ferries around the president, the prime minister and other VIPs.

Three of the 12 British-made helicopters ordered have already been delivered to India. The remaining nine were due to be delivered by the middle of 2014 - that order has now been stopped.

Italian prosecutors suspect that kickbacks worth almost $67.6m were paid to Indian officials to secure the contract.

Giuseppe Orsi, the former chief of Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, the former head of Agusta Westland, are being tried in Italy on fraud and corruption charges in connection with this deal - they both deny wrongdoing.

Former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi has also denied allegations that he or any of his relatives were paid bribes to secure the deal, after Italian investigators named him in the preliminary inquiry submitted to court.

India's Congress party has been hit by a series of damaging corruption scandals in recent years and the opposition has made regular calls for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign.

For Italy, too, this represented the latest in a string of corporate scandals. The Italian government owns about 30% of the company.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More India stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.