IAF to Start Offset Evaluation on MMRCA

By admin • September 2nd, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – India’s prestigious medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, worth almost $11 billion, is making a slow progress since the contenders are yet to be shortlisted. At present, the Offset Technical Committee has the process of evaluating the offset proposals of the six contenders.

The Indian Defence Ministry will take the decision to shortlist the contenders only when the Offset Technical Committee’s report and the report on the field trials have been completed and submitted. Once the contenders receive the evaluation of the Offset technical Committee, the contenders for the MMRCA will give fresh offset proposals. After that, fresh recommendations will be sent to the Defence Ministry. Once the Cabinet Committee on Security gives the nod, negotiations between governments will begin.

Sources said that the six contenders are presently being invited to furnish their offset plans and the Indian Air Force (IAF) will meet different contenders to discuss flight evaluation reports once the field trials are complete. So far, the IAF has had a meeting with Lockheed Martin of US and Dassault of France. It may be noted that the IAF is considering “life-cycle costs” and not just the lowest bid for the MMRCA.

The contenders for the MMRCA contract are the F/A-18 ‘Super Hornet’ by Boeing, F-16 ‘Falcon’ by Lockheed Martin, Swedish ‘Gripen’ by Saab, ‘Rafale’ by French firm Dassault, the Russian MiG-35 by United Aircraft Corporation and Eurofighter Typhoon (consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian companies). The MMRCA contract is worth almost $11 billion which entails acquisition of 18 jets to be bought off-the-shelf and the rest to be manufactured in India under transfer of technology.

Source: India Defence Online

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