Records confirm tender was altered, allowing AgustaWestland to qualify

FP

As reported earlier, in a detailed testimony before the judicial authority of Naples, a business associate of Haschke had explained how he put Haschke and his partner Gerosa in touch with AgustaWestland in 2006 to facilitate the Indian contract.

In the 568-page investigation report a copy of which is with The Indian Express the associate, business consultant Carmelo Messina, says Haschke was keen to get in touch with AgustaWestland as he "claimed he had deep knowledge of the Indian market, which he developed with his partner Carlo Gerosa".

Messina, who was also in touch with top AgustaWestland officials, said the company figured out after the contact was made that its choppers would not qualify for the contract.

"They came to know that actually the helicopters AgustaWestland could offer were not compatible with the technical features of the helicopters the Indian Ministry of Defence was looking for and that would have been the object of the future tender," Messina has said.

The confession says Haschke then managed to get the requirements changed to accommodate the Italian company's product.

"He told me that he managed to convince the Indians, or actually the Ministry of Defence, to reconsider the features of the helicopters so that Italian helicopters too could take part in the tender," Messina says in the confession. "After doing some evaluations, it was found that Haschke was right and that the Indian Ministry of Defence had really modified the technical features of the helicopters it needed so that AgustaWestland could participate."

Only three companies AgustaWestland, Russia's Kazan and American Sikorsky took part in the final RFP sent in 2006. While the Russians were disqualified apparently after not including the earnest money in their response, trials were held over the next two years on the AgustaWestland and Sikorsky machines before the contract was finally bagged by the Italians in 2010.

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