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Finmeccanica subsidiary making torpedoes for subs

An MP had complained that defence procurement procedure was violated while selecting the Italian WASS.

SUMAN SHARMA  New Delhi | 9th Mar 2013

hitehead Sistemi Subacquei (WASS), which is a subsidiary of the controversial Italian defence major Finmeccanica, the parent company of Agusta Westland, is supplying six torpedo tubes and 18 torpedoes to Indian Navy's Scorpene-class submarines. The tubes will be used to fire the torpedoes. The submarines are being built at the Mumbai-based Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL) by the French company DCNS, under the transfer of technology process. JD(U) MP from Bihar, Jainarayan Prasad Nishad complained to the Central Vigilance Commission and the Defence Minister last year that the defence procurement procedure was violated and parameters in the tender overlooked to favour the Italian WASS. The MP's letter talked about how WASS was chosen despite being a single vendor. WASS is known for its underwater systems, particularly heavyweight and lightweight torpedoes. It may be noted that time and cost over-runs have been dogging the Scorpene deal. The original cost in 2005 was Rs 18,798 crore, which has now crossed Rs 30,000 crore, according to the latest Parliament figures. This figure includes the prices of the torpedoes and the torpedo tubes. The delivery scheduled has been delayed by five years, from 2012 to 2017. A source told this newspaper, "India builds its indigenous nuclear submarine. which has a 6,000 tonne displacement. So why cannot it build a conventional submarine like a Scorpene which has a 2,000 tonne displacement? Why does it have to buy the submarine from abroad?"

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