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Bidding for mega defence deal delayed by one year.

New Delhi, April 28 -- The short-listing and procurement of fighter jets for the Indian Air force through the Rs 45,000-crore mega deal for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) could be delayed, with the Government extending the tenure of commercial bids for one year.

Six global giants are in the race for the biggest-ever defence deal and the technical trials and evaluation of these jets are now on by the IAF. The six planes include F-16 and F-18(US), Gripen (Sweden), Rafael (France), Eurofighter (UK) and MIG-35 (Russia).

All these jets have finished their technical trials as per the IAF specifications and experts are evaluating the performance of the jets according to IAF's technical evaluation parameters.

All the competitors had submitted the price of their jets along with the technical bids when the Indian Government floated the global tender nearly two years back. The decision to extend the tenure of the commercial bids comes as the evaluation could take at least four to six months, sources said here on Tuesday.

They said the commercial bids could only be opened after the technical evaluation was completed. Moreover, the bidders were allowed to increase or decrease the price tag, they said, adding the competitors were unlikely to do so as price tag could not be revealed at this stage.

As per the original schedule, the Government was likely to select the vendor by the end of this year. The process is now likely to be completed by mid next year or so, sources said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Pioneer. For more information on news feed please contact Sarabjit Jagirdar at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

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Publication:The Pioneer (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 28, 2010
Words:285
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