Leonardo is confident that it will remain able to do business in India, and is anticipating a new Indian defence procurement policy to be published by the end of the year.
On 29 May 2016, Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar announced that the Indian government was banning Leonardo from entering new procurement competitions. Gianpiero Lorandi, Leonardo’s head of defence business, has told asianmilitaryreview.com that the company is confident that it will be able to continue doing business with India thanks to a new Indian defence procurement policy that should be published before the end of the year.
The Indian government’s decision to blacklist the company from bidding for defence contracts came after Leonardo’s former chief executive officer was sentenced to four and a half years in jail by an Italian court for false accounting and corruption, regarding the sale of Leonardo/AgustaWestland AW-101 medium-lift utility helicopters to India. Mr. Parrikar, said that the company would continue to support existing equipment, but would be banned from bidding for any new projects.
The new policy, drafted by the Indian Ministry of Defence with support from the Ministry of Justice and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, should include new provisions that will allow Leonardo to circumvent the partial ban discussed above.