Indian Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony said on Monday that the $10-billion tender process for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) remains unhindered as no secret relating to the deal was compromised due to a file, which went missing recently.
The file with details of the offset proposals of the six competing aircraft manufacturers went missing in the last week of December, 2010 and was later recovered from the roadside on Khelgaon Marg in New Delhi.
Antony told reporters that the inquiries conducted by the defense ministry and the IAF found that “nothing sensitive was compromised” from the secret file and hence the process to procure the 126 fighter jets would continue.
“We have received the (Defense Ministry) report. All the agencies including the air force have reported that nothing was compromised regarding the procurement of the MMRCA. So, hereafter MMRCA acquisition process will again start,” Antony said.
“It will take some time. Who will get the deal, I can’t say now. The process has started again after the inquiry report was submitted and it will take a few more months,” he said, when asked when the contract for the aircraft would be signed.