New Delhi (Sputnik) – The Indian government has finally decided to drop a 300 million Euro defense deal with a subsidiary of Italian firm Finmeccanica.
The deal originally involved the purchase of Black Shark Torpedoes, which were to be an integral part and the primary weapon of India's six new scorpene-class submarines. Each submarine was designed to be fitted with 16 torpedoes, which are by Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquel (WASS) of Italy. Sources from the Ministry of Defense say that Minister Manohar Parrikar has directed officials to search for an alternative to the torpedoes.
WASS Italy, a Finmeccanica Company, emerged as the successful bidder in the procurement tender of Heavy Weight Torpedoes for the '75 Submarines' project. Subsequently, because of the Group’s involvement in the 556 million euro VVIP AgustaWestland Helicopter scandal, the procurement was put on hold in July 2014.
Last year in August, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the Indian Navy had made a request to go ahead with the procurement process, considering National Security imperatives. Subsequently, the Ministry of Defense decided to consult the Ministry of Law and Justice. However, with the AgustaWestland bribery case snowballing into a controversy of unprecedented magnitude, threatening to further delay the procurement of the torpedoes, the Government of India found it more sensible to forget all about the deal and select a new supplier.