Deal to buy VVIP choppers taken on advice of SPG, IAF: Antony | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Deal to buy VVIP choppers taken on advice of SPG, IAF: Antony

Defence Minister A K Antony today said the deal to procure the VVIP helicopters was taken on an advice of the Special Protection Group and the Air Force in view of the security situation in the country.

delhi Updated: Feb 15, 2010 19:15 IST

Defence Minister A K Antony today said the deal to procure the VVIP helicopters was taken on an advice of the Special Protection Group and the Air Force in view of the security situation in the country.

"Our Air Force as well as the Special Protection Group (SPG), they are the people who are concerned with the VVIP security. They told us due to the security scenario, we should consider this proposal and the Finance Ministry also agreed to take their comments and it was cleared in the Cabinet Committee on Security," he told reporters here.

Antony was asked why the deal for 12 VVIP choppers was cleared when the Finance ministry had raised objections.

The CCS had recently cleared the deal for 12 AgustaWestland AW-101 VVIP helicopters for executive transport of the President, Prime Minister, visiting heads of state and other leaders after the deal had remained stuck due to objections raised by the Finance Ministry over its price.

On why a similar deal involving the procurement of six Airbus-built mid-air refuelling tanker aircraft was not cleared after the Finance Ministry raised objections over the pricing issue, Antony said, "We had sent the proposal (Airbus tanker procurement) to the Finance Ministry three times but they continuously refused to support us in the CCS," he said.

After a four year-long trial process, the Defence Ministry had recently cancelled a tender for procuring six mid-air refuellers from Airbus as the price quoted by the European consortium was found to be higher than that of Russian contender Rosoboronexport.

The armed forces are supposed to buy platforms which meet their qualitative requirements and quote the least price.