Embraer Jet Deal Worth $208 Mn Signed During UPA Under Scanner

DRDO to seek explanation from Embraer over kickback allegation.

2 min read
Hindi Female

India’s defence research agency DRDO has sought explanation and details from Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer over alleged payment of kickbacks in the USD 208-million jet deal inked during the UPA regime.

The Ministry source said the firm has to respond within 15 days.

Meanwhile former Defence Minister AK Antony, told ANI that the government was free to hold an inquiry.

After receipt of information by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), further steps may be initiated, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday after it emerged that the 2008 deal has come under the scanner of US authorities which have been probing Embraer for allegedly paying a bribe to secure contracts.


The deal was signed in 2008 between Embraer and the DRDO for three aircraft equipped with indigenous radars for AEW&C (airborne early warning and control systems).

The company has been under investigation by the United States Justice Department since 2010 when a contract with the Dominican Republic raised the Americans’ suspicions.

Since then, the investigation has widened to examine business dealings with eight more countries.

Investigations that have been opened by the government of the United States to establish whether Embraer paid bribes in order to obtain contracts abroad have affected deals that the Brazilian company closed with Saudi Arabia and India.
Folha De São Paulo, Brazalian newspaper

It is suspected that a leading Indian middleman based in UK was roped in for the deal.

DRDO chief S Christopher, who headed the AEW&S programme earlier, did not pick up calls or respond to messages.

Embraer is cooperating with the investigations and announced in July that it was expecting to reach a deal soon with American authorities, the paper said.


The company has put USD 200 million aside to pay any eventual fines that come about as a result of the process.

The company has not released details regarding the state of the investigations, but three people who have been following the case have confirmed to Folha that the deals concluded in Saudi Arabia and India are being examined, the paper reported.

In both cases, suspicions were underlined in May this year when an employee with more than 30 years at the company reached a plea-bargain agreement in investigations being conducted by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Brazil.

Albert Phillip Close, Manager of Embraer’s defence area, told Prosecutor Marcello Miller that he had heard a former sales director who worked in Europe admit to American investigators the payment of commissions to facilitate the sale of aircraft to the Saudis.

In November of 2010, the company announced the delivery of two Embraer 170 executive jets to the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company Aramco. The amount of the deal was not announced at the time.

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Topics:  UPA   Aircraft   DRDO 

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