The Defence Ministry has acceded to a request from the Army to probe the charges against a Brigadier of seeking Rs. 25 crore from AgustaWestland to help it clinch the deal for 197 light choppers. The deal was cancelled once in 2007 when it had almost reached the final stages. The allegations surfaced during the investigation into the VVIP chopper deal. Italian aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica allegedly paid kickbacks to secure the contract for 12 VVIP choppers worth Rs. 3,600 crore.
“The Army Headquarters has asked us to investigate the matter before taking any decision on the future of the deal, in which only Eurocopter and Russian Kamov are left in the race as AgustaWestland was eliminated before trials itself,” sources in the Ministry said.
The Defence Acquisition Council, at a meeting here on Tuesday, approved a proposal to procure night vision devices, worth about Rs. 2,800 crore, for tanks and infantry combat vehicles.