Hindon: The mega deal for
procuring 126 medium weight multi-role combat aircraft is
expected to be finalised by the end of next year, IAF Chief
Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said.
"We had submitted the M-MRCA report with the Defence
Ministry on July 30. If everything goes of well, then the
contract should be signed by July 30 next year," he told
reporters on the sidelines of the Air Force day parade on Friday.
The deal expected to be worth USD 11 billion will help
the IAF to replace its ageing fleet of Russian-origin MiG
series fighters such as the MiG-21, MiG 23 and MiG 27.
After issuing a global tender in 2007, the IAF had
carried out the field evaluation trials of the six fighter
jets competing in the race and submitted its report on the
performance of the different aircraft in different terrain and
weather conditions with the office of the Director General
(Acquisition) in the Defence Ministry on July 30.
The report will be be looked at by the Technical
Oversight Committee (TOC) of Defence Ministry before it
approves it for further action.
The report has the details of the performance of the
six competing fighters on 643 different requirements with each
aircraft being marked compliant or non-compliant with each
The IAF had recently also allowed the companies to
re-submit their commercial bids as the ones submitted earlier
were applicable on till April 28 this year.
Six companies, including American F/A-18 E/F and F-16,
European Eurofighter, Russian MiG 35, French Rafale and the
Swedish Saab Gripen are in the race for the contract, which is
often termed as the `mother of all deals`.