Paris: India will not veer from its decision
to award a USD 12-billion-dollar contract to France for Rafale
fighter planes, the Indian Air Force chief of staff said in an
interview published online.
"We have a procedure as per the defense procurement
policy that stipulates the contract goes to the lowest
bidder," Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne told the US monthly
Aviation International News at the Singapore Airshow.
India chose Dassault Aviation`s Rafale plane over the
Typhoon built by Eurofighter, a consortium made up of British
group BAE Sytems, Europe`s EADS and Italy`s Finmeccanica.
Browne added in the interview posted Thursday that
they have begun negotiations to finalise the contract for 126
planes and that any decision now to involve another
manufacturer would be "procedurally untenable."
He was speaking after Rafale`s rival Eurofighter said
it still hoped to win the contract, despite Dassault being
chosen for exclusive negotiations.
BAE Systems, which has a 33-per cent stake in the
consortium, said yesterday that it still "actively" upholds
its Typhoon offer, adding: "There is still a long way to go
before the contract is awarded."
The contract negotiations committee opened Dassault
Aviation`s Rafale bid on February 13 and identified the French
company as its lowest bidder.
Browne called the Rafale selection "Brilliant!" in the
AIN interview and added: "We got it at the best cost possible.
The decision was based on performance and Rafale passed all