By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — Italy's Whitehead Sistemi Subacquei S.p.A., a subsidiary of Leonardo, might be reconsidered to supply Black Shark torpedoes for French Scorpene submarines currently being built in India, according to sources in the Indian Ministry of Defence.
This follows observations made by India's attorney general on the legality of issuing tenders and its subsidiary defence companies, which are facing probes on charges of alleged corruption.
In June of last year, MoD announced the cancellation of a $200 million deal for Black Shark torpedoes, but MoD sources said the tender was not formally cancelled and that no intimation of the cancellation was conveyed to the Italian company.
Whitehead Sistemi Subacquei S.p.A., or WASS, was declared the winner over Atlas Elektronik of Germany in 2014 in a global tender to supply Black Shark torpedoes to be mounted on the six French Scorpene submarines licensed produced by state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.
Although WASS emerged as the lowest bidder against Atlas Elektronik, the contract could not be signed because in August 2014, the government put a ban on signing the contracts in the wake of the probe into the VVIP helicopters scam relating to AgustaWestland, another subsidiary of Leonardo.
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