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Finmeccanica denies cancellation of India AW101 deal

Finmeccanica has hit out against press speculation suggesting that India was on the verge of cancelling its controversial order for the 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters and maintains the deal is still on with an arbitration meeting due to take place in the coming days.

In a statement, the Italian aerospace and defence giant stresses that its AgustaWestland subsidiary has "received no such communication" from India’s Ministry of Defence on the possible termination of the contract.

It adds: "Finmeccanica is confident in India's reputation for fair and transparent proceedings and respect for the rule of law, for which India has an established reputation."

A meeting scheduled between the two parties remains scheduled for 20 November, it says. In addition AgustaWestland will "deliver the formal written response to the exceptions" raised by New Delhi in a show cause notice issued in October, asking it to explain why the contract should not be ended.

Although three of the VVIP helicopters have been handed over the Indian air force, the remainder are still at the manufacturer's Yeovil, UK factory in varying stages of completeness.

Deliveries have been stalled since allegations of bribery to secure the order - denied by AgustaWestland - first surfaced in February.

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