Comment: Is there now another marriage of "corruption & bribery" between ITALY and INDIA?
In a message dated 13/02/2013 23:59:57 GMT Standard Time, xxxxxxxxxxxxwrites:
ROLLS-ROYCE WINS BIG ORDER , BUT FEAR OF £480m CANCELLATION LOOMS AT WESTLAND
2000 JOBS ARE SECURED AT ROLL'S MARINE DIVISION, BUT INDIAN GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO TERMINATE HELICOPTER DEAL OVER CLAIMS OF BRIBERY AT WESTLAND'S ITALIAN PARTNER
The Guardian, Wednesday 13 February 2013 20.12 GMT
While Rolls-Royce celebrated, Agusta Westland was wrestling with the arrest of its parent company's chief executive, Giuseppe Orsi, on bribery allegations. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA
A mixed day for British manufacturers saw Rolls-Royce secure 2,000 jobs with an £800m government contract, while India threatened to cancel a $750m (£480m) order with Britain's only helicopter factory.
The Rolls-Royce contract with the Ministry of Defence will support propulsion systems on Britain's fleet of nuclear submarines, while saving the government £200m over the course of the ten-year contract. The Derby-based group employs 21,000 people in the UK and is best known for manufacturing aircraft engines such as the Trent 900 for the A380 superjumbo.
Defence minister Philip Dunne said: "The foundation contract will help sustain around 2,000 jobs at Rolls-Royce Submarines in the UK, which provides a unique national strategic capability that has a vital role to play in meeting the present and future defence and security needs of the UK."
However, there could be a negative impact on one leading UK-based manufacturer from an unfolding political scandal in Italy. The chief executive of defence group Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, has been arrested by Italian police amid allegations that he bribed Indian ministers to win a contract to supply luxury helicopters to transport India's prime minister. India's defence minister AK Antony said he would cancel the whole of the $750m (£480m) 12 helicopter deal with Finmeccanica's AgustaWestland subsidiary if the country's central bureau of investigation finds bribes were paid to Indian officials.
"The moment we get a report from the CBI, we will take the strongest action provided in the integrity pact. That includes cancellation of the contract, blacklisting the companies and criminal action," Antony said on Wednesday.
Developments in the case are being closely watched in Yeovil because all of the helicopters are being built at the AgustaWestland factory in the Somerset town. Three of the AW101 helicopters have already been built, and the remaining nine are to be finished this year. AgustaWestland is Yeovil's biggest employer with 3,500 staff.
A spokesman for Finmeccanica said: "This contract was the result of a competitive tender process and is being delivered on time and on budget. The related industrial activities are continuing as planned."
Cancelling the Indian government order would not be fatal for the Yeovil factory, but the site is entering a crucial year as the DfT prepares to award a 10-year contract for the UK search and rescue service, which will require new helicopters.