New Delhi: Italian helicopter manufacturer
AgustaWestland on Tuesday said it would be able to deliver the 12
VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force within four years of
signing the contract.
After remaining stuck for almost a year in the Cabinet
Committee on Security (CCS), the Government had last week
given a go ahead to the deal for procuring 12 AW-101 choppers
for VVIPs like the President and the Prime Minister.
"We haven`t signed the effective contract yet but after
signing the contract, we would be able to deliver them in four
years," Agusta Managing Director Graham Cole said here.
He said the company had not yet heard anything officially
from the Indian government on the deal.
During the Defexpo press conference yesterday, the Defence
Minister had said the deal to procure the choppers was cleared
by the CCS after the Special Protection Group and the IAF
advised the government to do so in view of the prevailing
security scenario in the country.
The deal was stuck for almost a year after the Finance
Ministry raised objections over the high price tag attached
to the choppers.
The AW-101 will replace the fleet of Russian-origin Mi-8
and Mi-17 choppers flying with the Palam-based communication
squadron of the IAF.