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26 octobre 2011 3 26 /10 /octobre /2011 05:40

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24 Oct 2011 By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI Defensenews

 

NEW DELHI - India's $10 billion Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contest has entered its last stage, with the Indian Defence Ministry alerting the two competitors that the commercial bids will be opened Nov. 4.

 

Letters were sent Oct. 24 to France's Dassault Aviation and European company EADS, a ministry source here said. After the commercial bids are opened, the lowest bidder will be decided and price negotiations with the winner will begin.

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The MMRCA program has picked up momentum in the Defence Ministry, and a contract is likely to be sealed by March 2012.

 

Based on flight trials of all the MMRCA competitors, the aircraft proposed by U.S. companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Sweden's Saab and Russia's MiG Aircraft were ejected from the race, leaving the Dassault Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon in the fray.

 

The Indian Defence Ministry floated its biggest global tender, worth $10 billion, for the acquisition of 126 MMRCAs in August 2007.

 

The Indian Air Force intends to replace its aging Russian-built MiG-21 fighter aircraft with the MMRCA because the Indian-designed and -built Light Combat Aircraft has been delayed by more than a decade.

 

Under the MMRCA proposal, India would buy 18 ready-to-fly fighters off the shelf and the remaining 108 would be built in India under technology transfer from the contract winner.

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