Fin­mec­ca­nica Spread Wide on In­dian Shores

Ital­ian group on verge of be­ing black­listed; de­fence min­istry ac­cel­er­ates the process to take ac­tion

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Fin­mec­ca­nica, the Ital­ian de­fence group on the verge of get­ting black­listed, is spread wide in In­dia, with sev­eral mil­i­tary sys­tems in ser­vice as well as con­tracts in the pipe­line that have now been struck for years.

The de­fence min­istry has ac­cel­er­ated the process to take ac­tion against the group, fol­low­ing the re­cent con­vic­tion of its for­mer ex­ec­u­tives in Italy over cor­rup­tion in a he­li­copter deal with In­dia. But, the gov­ern­ment has clar­i­fied that the group’s on­go­ing projects will not be af­fected by the step.

The Fin­mec­ca­nica group has sup­plied sys­tems rang­ing from radars and guns for the Navy to be­ing one of the prime con­tenders for a $1-bil­lion con­tract for a new range of naval chop­pers. In cur­rent form, the blacklisting of Fin­mec­ca­ni­ca­could af­fect work of sub­sidiaries Selex, Ale­nia and OtoMe­lara.

Selex, for ex­am­ple, is sup­ply­ing the 3D L Band Air Sur­veil­lance Radar (RAN-40L) which will be in­stalled on-board the Vikrant air­craft car­rier be­ing built in Kochi. OtoMe­lara is the main sup­plier of naval guns for war­ships of the In­dian Navy and Coast Guard. It had a tie up with gov­ern­ment owned Bharat Heavy Elec­tri­cals for pro­duc­ing 76mm and Fin­mec­ca­nica would af­fect work of its sub­sidiary com­pa­nies

sup­ply­ing 3D L Band Air Sur­veil­lance Radar that will be in­stalled on-board Vikrant air­craft car­rier

is the main sup­plier of naval guns for war­ships of Navy and coast guard

a lead­ing com­peti­tor for a deal to re­place IAF’s Avro fleet, is out of race

Group has sup­plied sys­tems rang­ing from radars and guns for Navy to be­ing one of prime con­tenders for a new range of naval chop­pers

127mm naval guns.

Ale­nia, which was at one point was a lead­ing com­peti­tor for a deal to re­place the IAF’s Avro fleet, has fallen out of the race. The navy’s new Scor­pe­ne­sub­mari­nes­may­havetodo wi t h o u t a n e w tor­pedo as Fin­mec­ca­ni­ca­s­ub­sidiaryWASSwas se­lected for the con­tract but the deal has not moved much. Selex sup­plies com­mu­ni­ca­tion and radars to Hindustan Aero­nau­tics that are put on board naval and air force chop­pers. Agus­taWest­land, the Bri­tish unit of the com­pany that is in the cen­tre of the cor­rup­tion scan­dal, it­self was hope­ful of a come­back into the In­dian mar­ket for the navy ten­der for util­ity he­li­copters. It was even in talks with sev­eral In­dian com­pa­nies for a pos­si­ble tie up.

The de­fence min­istry has made its po­si­tion clear that it will go hard on the Agus­taWest­land case. In a first of­fi­cial com­ment, the min­istry said “publicly avail­able in­for­ma­tion” on the case “clearly shows that the core is­sue in the mat­ter is cor­rup­tion”.

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