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Despite the defence ministry having frozen all contracts with Rolls-Royce (RR) following a bribery scandal in March, orders continue to flow in from the Indian Air Force and navy that operate aircrafts powered by RR engines.
South Block sources told HT that orders were being placed with the British engineering giant for supplying spare parts for engines after assessing urgency on a case-by-case basis.
Six types of planes in the IAF inventory are powered by RR engines — including the newly-acquired C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft, Jaguar fighters, Embraer luxury jets for VVIPs and Hawk advanced jet trainers.
The navy’s Sea Harrier fighters and Sea King choppers also use RR engines.
The government has signed a rash of contracts with the firm for repairing, upgrading and supplying spares for these engines. “We haven’t felt the heat yet as we are ordering spares for the engines,” an IAF officer said.
A company spokesperson told HT from Singapore that the firm remained committed to doing business with the Indian government and would cooperate fully with regulatory authorities.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing bribery allegations against the engine maker in connection with contracts to supply engines to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The agency is investigating all contracts the firm signed with HAL during 2007-11.
The engine maker had admitted that it had employed a Singapore-based firm, Aashmore Private Limited, as its “commercial advisor” and had offered to pay `18 crore to the government, the amount shelled out by it as commission to its agent.
The ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft that Japan hopes to sell to India is also powered by RR engines.