Bangalore: India will pick up by next one
month the vendor for its biggest-ever military fighter deal for purchasing 126 Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft at a cost
of USD 11 billion, the contract of which is expected to be
finalised by September.
Addressing a press conference here, Air Chief Marshal P V
Naik said all the problems related to the offsets proposals
have been sorted out and if the bid losers "don`t put spokes
in the wheel," the deal would be finalised in the given
"We hope to start the contract negotiations in the next
two to four weeks and the deal may be signed by September," he
The IAF had submitted its field evaluation trial report
on July 30 last year and the Defence Ministry has been going
through it to determine the aircraft meeting IAF`s
Six aircraft including Russian MiG-35, American F-16 and
F/A-18, Swedish Gripen, European Eurofighter and French Rafale
are in the race for the multi-billion dollar contract.
Naik said "unless dissatisfied vendors put spokes", which
may involve getting clearances from the Central Vigilance
Commission or legal proceedings, the deal would be finalised
by September -- in the next fiscal.
The IAF is planning to induct these aircraft to augment
its number and replace the Russian-origin MiG series aircraft,
which are on their way out of the service.
Complementing the IAF team involved in the evaluation
trials, Naik said the process was a "complicated" one as each
aircraft had to be tested for 600 different parameters by the
Under the procurement process, the Defence Ministry
negotiates with the company offering the lowest price for the
equipment required by respective services.
Asked about the procurement of new cluster bombs from
American firm Textron, he said that would be first put on the
Jaguar deep penetration fighters by the IAF.