EADS to bid afresh for multi-role combat aircraft in India

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 19:23

Berlin: The four-nation European aerospace
consortium EADS, which manufactures Eurofighter Typhoon
fighter jets, will submit fresh commercial bids by the end of
this month for IAF`s 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft
(MMRCA) tenders.

"We will submit new commercial bids for Eurofighter
Typhoon in India by June-end. EADS is preparing the bid
papers," Enzo Casolini, CEO of Eurofighter Industries
Consortium, said here Tuesday.

The new bids are scheduled to be opened around
September-end this year but sources said the process is likely
to get delayed by a few months.

The validity of the earlier bids submitted by the six
contenders for the USD 11-billion `mother of all deals` had
ended in March this year.

The tenders issued in August 2008 had received bids from
six global fighter jet manufacturers including EADS in March
2008 and the bids were valid for two years.

The IAF is looking at buying 126 MMRCA to replace its
ageing Russian-origin MiG-21 aircraft fleet. The tenders also
provided for a further order on the same terms as the current
bids for another 67 fighter jets in the near future.

EADS is competing for the IAF deal with US majors Boeing
(F/A-18) and Lockheed Martin (F-16IN), Russian MiG RAC
(MiG-35), French D`Assault (Rafale) and Swedish SAAB
(Gripen).

The IAF had opened the technical bids of the contenders
in 2008 and after evaluation of the submits, it had called the
six companies for flight and weapon trials of their respective
aircraft. The trials in all-weather condition had concluded
this April.

However, the commercial bids -- specifying the price of
the aircraft, after-sales support, maintenance support and
spares -- were yet to be opened.

Since the bids had expired in March, the Defence Ministry
returned the commercial bids back to the companies and asked
them to either submit a revised documents with revised prices
or to resubmit the existing tenders by extending its validity.

Casolini said he was confident Eurofighter would get the
contract as his company was offering technology transfer and
other sops which, he claimed, was not the case with the
American companies.

He listed political support and relationship with the
buyer country as an important component in bagging a contract.

Casolini said though the US scored high on this front,
EADS had bright prospects as four European countries - all
with good relations with India - had a stake in it.

"Political support and relationship is important. Here US
is our biggest competitor. And then the French. Their
President Nicholas Sarkozy is going around promoting Rafale,"
he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 19:23

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