Govt Keeps Decision Hanging On 'Clean' Torpedo Deal

A deal for Black Shark torpedoes, built by Finmeccanica subsidiary WASS, has been held up for months following a steady stream of complaints that corrupt practices helped the deal through. The latest was reportedly a letter from a Member of Parliament. The war has been over Atlas Elektroniks, the contender that lost out in the deal (here's a detailed report in the Business Standard newspaper). The torpedoes are intended to arm India's Scorpene attack submarines under construction at the Mazagon Dock Ltd shipyards in Mumbai.

As things stand, it appears that a decision remains hanging despite committees declaring the deal 'clean'. Here's what Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in Indian Parliament today:

"The contract for procurement of Black Shark torpedoes has not yet been finalised. Representations/references have been received from different quarters including from one competing vendor and Members of Parliament. Special Technical Oversight Committee was constituted with approval of DAC (Defence Acquisition Council) to review the evaluation process and complaints received. The STOC has opined that the procurement has been progressed in accordance with the laid down procedures, in keeping with the provisions of the RFP (Request for Proposal) and DPP-06 in transparent and fair manner. The DAC has considered the STOC Report and accepted the same in September, 2012. Government has not taken a final decision on the procurement."

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