Although the Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations of alleged wrongdoings in the sale of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to India for VVIP transport, the fate of the aircraft remains unclear. AgustaWestland has agreed to pay a “negligible fine (which)…is not in any way an admission of any wrongdoing or liability,” said a statement from Finmeccanica, which further noted that the Prosecutor had “specifically acknowledged the non-involvement” of the parent company.
The new Indian government has issued the request for proposal (RFP) for 56 transport aircraft worth an estimated $2 billion, to replace the Indian Air Force’s aging Hawker Siddeley 748M twin-turboprops, known as Avros. The final date for submission of bids is August 28. The contract is expected to be awarded late next year or early in 2016.
AgustaWestland (exhibiting here at the Farnborough Airshow with parent Finmeccanica, Outdoor Exhibit 1) gained a contract worth £90 million (around $150 million) here yesterday to integrate Europe’s next-generation maritime missile on the AW159 Wildcat helicopter.
UTC Aerospace Systems and Selex ES announced they will jointly develop the TacSAR (tactical synthetic aperture radar) reconnaissance system, a long-range SAR system designed for overland and maritime reconnaissance and surveillance. TacSAR uses Selex active electronically scanned array radar technology.
AgustaWestland, a division of Finmeccanica (Outdoor Exhibit 1), congratulated Waypoint Leasing here at the Farnborough Airshow 2014 on the rotor leasing firm’s first year of operation, which kicked off in March 2013 with an order for GrandNew, AW169, AW139 and AW189s from the OEM.
The Indian government last week stalled completion of several major military equipment deals until at least the end of the current financial year on March 31. “We have no money,” said defense minister A. K. Antony at the Defexpo show in New Dehli on Thursday.
AgustaWestland has opened an office in the Seoul to capitalize on recent sales success in South Korea. The subsidiary of Italian group Finmeccanica has about 50 helicopters of various types in service or on order there in military, parapublic or commercial roles. These include eight AW159 Wildcat maritime helicopters for the Republic of Korea Navy–the first export sale of this type. The manufacturer hopes that this order may be expanded. The AW139 is selling well for commercial applications.
India’s attorney general, Goolamhussein Essaji Vahanvati, ruled last week that AgustaWestland breached contractual obligations and an associated “integrity pact” in winning a $787 million contract to supply 12 AW101 VIP helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2010, raising the possibility the government will cancel the deal.
The corruption trial of former AgustaWestland CEOs Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini is set to resume this month, with defense lawyers prepared to call an international witness list of top government officials and industry leaders. The men are charged with orchestrating bribes in connection with the sale of 12 AW101s to the government of India in 2010 when Orsi was CEO of Finmeccanica unit AgustaWestland and Spagnolini was his deputy.
The European Union has been criticized in the past for being slow with regards to reforming its own transparency regime, creating a negative impact on the credibility of European companies. Finmeccanica (Chalet A232, Static C65) has made a head start with its compliance program, which focuses on trade controls for sensitive transactions and business ethics, said Walter Vasselli, senior compliance officer for the Italian company.
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