The Navy has been pushing for purchase of torpedoes, citing national security imperatives.In a reply to Rajya Sabha, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that WASS Italy, a Finmeccanica company, had emerged as a successful bidder in the procurement for heavy weight torpedoes for Project75 submarines.
“Subsequently, because of the group’s involvement in the VVIP helicopter case, the procurement was put on hold in July 2014. Indian Navy has been requesting for continuing the procurement process considering national security imperatives,” the minister said.
“It has been decided to seek opinion in the matter from the Ministry of Law and Justice,” he added.
All fresh deals with Finmeccanica are banned under the graded blacklisting norms notified for the group in August last year following the VVIP helicopter scam, in which another of its subsidiaries AgustaWestland was the accused.
The Scorpenes, which are under construction at a shipyard in Mumbai, will be literally toothless without the heavyweight torpedoes. While they can also fire SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missiles from its six firing tubes, the torpedoes are its primary weapons.