‘Combat plane deal winner will be announced soon’
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 16:00
  
New Delhi: The winner of the multi-billion dollar deal to procure 126 combat planes for Indian Air Force is expected to be announced in two weeks time, the IAF Chief said here Tuesday.

European EADS Eurofighter and Dasault Rafale are in the final race for Air Force's global tender to procure 126 Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA).

"Right now we have to do the selection for who is going to be the shortlisted vendor. I am hopeful that in another two weeks time, we will be able to shortlist the name," Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne told reporters on sidelines of a NCC function here.

Asked whether IAF will try to finalise the deal early as the financial year is coming to a close in March, he said, "The financial year does not have any bearing on that." On commercial negotiations with the selected vendor, he said, "Once we shortlist that (vendor), then the commercial negotiations will start with the vendor."

Asked whether he approves of the step taken by Army chief General V K Singh to move the Supreme Court for resolution of his date of birth issue, Browne said, "I don't want to comment on this issue at all. I don't wish to comment on an issue like this."

General Singh yesterday filed a writ petition in the apex court after government rejected his plea to change his date of birth.

As per the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), the lowest bidder is considered to be the winner of the contract.

The two European firms were competing with American companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Russian MiG corporation and Swedish Saab, for the tender.

On November 4 last year, the Defence ministry had opened the commercial bid of the two firms left in the race and since then has been busy in determining the lowest bidder.

The Eurofighter bid is backed by four partner nations including Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom while the Dasault Rafale is backed by the French Government.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 15:40


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