India lifts ban on Italian defense giant Leonardo?

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As of Saturday, media have reported that India has lifted the ban on Italian defense company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica). The ban was imposed in 2014 following allegations of corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore contract for the supply of helicopters to transport the prime minister, vice president and president.

Finmeccanica renamed itself Leonardo in 2016.

The India time reported Sunday that the Defense Ministry had decided to resume trade relations with Leonardo “subject to certain conditions imposed on the company”. OK,” The time of India reported. In addition, investigations into the VVIP helicopter case by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate will continue.

Allegations of corruption in the purchase of 12 AW-101 helicopters surfaced in 2012 with allegations that Rs 360 crore was paid to politicians, bureaucrats and Indian Air Force officials to influence the decision to buy the helicopter. The allegations were made against AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Leonardo, which manufactured the helicopters.

Hours now reported at the end of October that India and Italy were in negotiations to resume Leonardo’s activities in India.

“One argument for lifting the ban is that Leonardo, partly owned by the Italian government, has been restructured and is very different from AgustaWestland, which was a subsidiary. Second, it is suggested to leave the ban, if there is to be one. , continue on the helicopter division and not on the rest of the mammoth company, one of the largest in the world “, Hours now had reported.

The time of India reported that the ban had “limited India’s options” in arms purchases, as Leonardo is involved in building a range of weapon systems such as naval guns, missiles, torpedoes , electronics and radars.

A major consequence of Leonardo’s ban was the Indian Navy’s decision to cancel the purchase of torpedoes for its new class of Scorpene submarines. The Indian Navy intended to purchase 98 Black Shark torpedoes, built by a subsidiary of Leonardo, as the main armament of the six Scorpene submarines. The Indian Navy canceled the Black Shark torpedo contract in 2016 and has yet to select a new torpedo class for the Scorpene submarines. This means that the submarines rely on old SUT torpedoes supplied by Germany.

Reports also said lifting the ban would give India leverage to prevent the company from supplying equipment to Pakistan.

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