At an interaction with the media at Aero India 2011, Chief of the Indian Air Force P.V. Naik indicated that commercial negotiations on the 126 aircraft medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender of the Indian Air Force, will commence in a week or two.
Indicating the file was with the Ministry of Finance, he said he was expecting a decision by September this year unless “dissatisfied vendors put at spoke in the wheel (sic)”.
The chief indicated that all the issues surrounding the offsets have been resolved. When the assembled journalists pointed out that the various contender companies were not hopeful of a decision before 2013, the chief said, he was confident of a decision by September assuming things went smoothly, but given the scale of various scams buffeting the current UPA government, his demeanour reflected an almost certainty that one of the losers of this hotly contested tender, would “put a spoke in the wheels” and then matters may get delayed.
Talking about the multiple helicopter procurements in progress, the chief informed:
- The 12 Augusta Westland 101 helicopters ordered for VVIP (Very Very Important Persons) use are expected shortly.
- The attack helicopter flight trials are almost completed and the file is expected by him in a “week or so”. The two contenders are the Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow and the Mil Mi28 “Havoc”.
- 80 Mil Mi17 V5 helicopters ordered for the medium lift helicopter role will be delivered this year. Another “50 or so” will be ordered soon.
- The Boeing CH-47 Chinook and the Mil Mi26 “Halo” are competing for the heavy lift helicopter tender. Flights trials are still underway.
- Is the MMRCA the right strategy for the IAF? (rupeenews.com)
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- Lockheed delivers plane for Indian Air Force (ajc.com)
- Held hostage to CISMOA, MMRCA forced towards Euro fighters (militarystrat.wordpress.com)