New Delhi:  Defence Minister A K Antony on Friday ordered a probe to find out if there was corruption in the Rs 3,500-crore deal to procure 12 helicopters for VVIPs from European defence firm Agusta Westland.

"Antony today asked Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma to probe if there was any corruption involved in the procurement of these 12 AW-101 helicopters from European company Augusta Westland," Defence Ministry sources said here.

Agusta Westland is a subsidiary of Italian defence company Finmeccanica which had edged out Sikorsky’s S-92 Superhawk for the deal.

India signed a contract worth Rs 3,546.17 crore in February, 2010, to procure 12 of these helicopters, of which eight would be for VVIP transportation and four for non-VVIP version.

The new helicopters are being procured to replace the ageing Russian-made Mi-8 helicopters that are nearing completion of their life.