The commercial bids of the two surviving contenders in the Indian Air Force (IAF) tender for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) are ready to be opened, according to the defense ministry.
The four-nation Eurofighter consortium and France’s Dassault had been waiting for progress in the tender process, after the other four aircraft, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16, Saab’s Gripen and the Russian MiG-35 were eliminated from the competition in April.
After a crucial meeting of the Defense Acquisitions Council (DAC) on Friday, sources in the defense ministry said ‘all the spadework’ for the opening of the commercial bids had been completed and that the bids would ‘be opened in the next few days in the presence of the two vendors’.
They also said that the DAC had approved the Offset Evaluation Report which analyzed the offset proposals of the two vendors for compliance. They vendors had to submit proposals to facilitate offsets worth 50 percent of the value of the order. While the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) typically mandates a requirement of 30 percent offset compliance for such high value orders, in this case the percentage was hiked because of the estimated value of the order.
The budgeted value is currently INR 42,000 crore and, until recently, estimates have put the dollar value for the order at USD 10.4 billion. But the fall of the rupee in the currency market is likely to have an impact on the final value of the order.
Note: 1 crore = 10 million