Press Esc to close
Wednesday 29 June 2016
News updated at 12:38 PM IST
Weather
Max: 26.3°C
Min : 20.6°C
In Bengaluru
Rain lightly

IAF will not fly tainted Agusta VVIP choppers

New Delhi, July 9, 2014, DHNS:

Defence Ministry looks for options to sell them

The Indian Air Force will not fly the three scam-tainted AW-101 VVIP helicopters that have been with it since December 2012. PTI file photo

The Indian Air Force will not fly the three scam-tainted AW-101 VVIP helicopters that have been with it since December 2012.

The defence ministry has decided that the Air Force would not use these choppers for VVIP flights. Instead, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley may look for legally valid options to sell these copters to state governments or private companies, sources told Deccan Herald.

The three choppers arrived in Delhi almost a year-and-a-half ago, but they were never formally inducted in the service because within months, the Rs 3,727 crore  deal emerged as a huge scam with allegations of kickbacks flying thick against several individuals, including a former IAF chief.

Since 2012, the IAF stations in Hindon and Palam were flying these machines on short trips to keep them operational. But with no supply of spares because of the scam, investigation and court case, it is becoming increasingly expensive to fly them.“The only decision on the Agusta VVIP choppers is that the IAF will not fly them.

The ministry is exploring various options on what can be done with them,” said an official. One of the proposals on the table is to sell them off to states or other agencies, including private companies. Jaitley, however, has not taken any decision yet.

The IAF is working on a plan to find a new fleet of VVIP helicopters to replace the ageing Mi-8 helicopters, which have completed their technical lives. Bereft of an alternative, the service continues to fly them for ferrying VVIPs.

In 2010, India signed the agreement with arms major AgustaWestland for the supply of 12 AW 101 choppers. Following the controversy, the defence ministry asked the CBI to probe the scam-tainted deal and proceeded to encash the bank guarantees to recover part of the advance payment made to the company.

While the Agusta helicopters were custom-made for VVIP flights, IAF’s most modern medium lift helicopter — Mi-17 V5, is not configured for them. The V5 helicopters neither have the comfort level required by VVIP passengers, nor are they equipped with extra security measures and communication lines.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

Muslims prays inside a mosque during the fasting month of Ramadan in Mumbai...

Muslims prays inside a mosque during the fasting month of Ramadan in Mumbai...

Army persons move towards the house where a Hizbul Mujahideen militant was hiding...

Army persons move towards the house where a Hizbul Mujahideen militant was hiding...

Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor gestures at an awareness campaign for road safety....

Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor gestures at an awareness campaign for road safety....

Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal is welcomed by fishermen community...

Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal is welcomed by fishermen community...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523