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Take a look at the VVIP chopper timeline

Take a look at the VVIP chopper timeline
1/10

Take a look at the VVIP chopper timeline

Text: ET Bureau

In August 1999, IAF proposed replacement of Mi-8 VIP helicopters due to operational deficiencies, such as their inability to operate at night and in adverse weather conditions, and safety issues.

Take a look at the timeline depicting the development of the VVIP AgustaWestland chopper scam.

BCCL
March 2002
2/10

March 2002

Global tenders issued in which 4 vendors participate; IAF shortlists three and flight evaluations conducted:

AgustaWestland not certified for high altitude and did not participate

Russian copter Mi-172 could not comply with 7 mandatory Operational Requirements

EC-225 OF Eurocopter, France, found suitable for acquisition

BCCL
November 2003
3/10

November 2003

In a meeting taken by Vajpayee’s PMO, concerns raised on single vendor situation; recommendation to change some requirements to accommodate more vendors

BCCL
March 2005
4/10

March 2005

IAF changes key requirements in the chopper acquisition, including altitude requirement that qualifies AgustaWestland to compete; CBI and ED have used this change approved by former Air Chief SP Tyagi to lodge an FIR against him

BCCL
September 2006
5/10

September 2006

Tenders issued to 6 vendors; in consultation with Singh PMO, requirement of choppers revised upwards from 8 to 12

Three vendors — Sikorsky, AgustaWestland and Rosoboronexport, Russia — respond; Russian chopper drops out shortly

BCCL
2006-08
6/10

2006-08

Field evaluation trials carried out, with Special Protection Group as part of the team

Evaluation report concludes Sikorsky S-92 helicopter non-compliant

BCCL
2009-2012
7/10

2009-2012

January 2009: Contract negotiated for a price of €556.262 m

February 2010: After due approvals from the fi nance ministry, contract for supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopter signed with AgustaWestland

February 2012: First reports about possible corruption and an investigation into the contract. Next day, MoD seeks reports from Rome

BCCL
2013-2014
8/10

2013-2014

February 2013: MoD hands over case to CBI for investigation and puts on hold all further payments to AgustaWestland after arrest of alleged middlemen in Italy as well as top executives of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland

January 2014: VVIP Chopper deal terminated by India under the stringent integrity pact, efforts initiated to recover money from Italy. Three delivered choppers mothballed

In Italian investigations, several documents seized from middlemen crop up with initials and references to Indian offi cials and politicians

September 2014: Indian lawyer Gautam Khaitan arrested by ED on allegations of routing Agusta money to India

PTI
October 2014
9/10

October 2014

Italian court sentences top Italian executives to jail for money laundering but says that corruption could not be proved in the case; fines are imposed on executives; prosecution files an appeal in the higher court

BCCL
April 2016
10/10

April 2016

The Milan court of appeals overturns lower court decision, rules that international corruption took place in the contract and names SP Tyagi as a benefi ciary; Indian investigations pick up pace with ED and CBI starting questioning the suspects afresh

BCCL
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