India scraps $670M helicopter deal with Italian giant Finmeccanica after bribery allegations

NEW DELHI – India has cancelled a 560 million euro ($670 million) contract for 12 helicopters after Italian defence giant Finmeccanica was accused of bribing Indian contacts to secure the deal.

A defence ministry official said the decision was made Wednesday during a meeting between Defence Minister A.K.Antony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Former Finmeccanica head Giuseppe Orsi is on trial in Italy for his alleged role in bribery to secure the contract for Finmeccanica’s helicopter division, Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland.

Former Indian air force chief S.P. Tyagi is one of the accused in the case also being investigated by Indian authorities.

India has received three helicopters and stopped the delivery of the remaining nine AW1010 helicopters.