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IAF briefs Lockheed Martin on MMRCA deal

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NEW DELHI, Jul 14 (PTI): Lockheed Martin, one the two US companies eliminated from the 126 combat aircraft tender, has said it had met the Indian Air Force this week to know the reasons for its non-compliance in the contract.

"We had a meeting this week with the IAF to learn about the reasons for our aircraft being non-compliant in the deal," Lockheed Martin's Vice president Orville Prins told reporters here Thursday.

He said such a meeting would help the company prepare itself in a better manner for future competitions.

The request for the debriefing was made by the US Government, which had offered the aircraft to the Indian establishment through the Foreign Military Sales route.

In April, India had shortlisted Dassault and Eurofighter for 126 Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) deal and excluded the two American companies including Boeing along with Russian MiG Corporation and Swedish Saab Gripen.

Asked if he was satisfied with the explanation given by the IAF, Prins said, "We are satisfied that we had the meeting and we could ask questions."

Commenting on the two shortlisted aircraft, he said, "I think Eurofighter and Rafale were evaluated as per the provisions of the DPP-06 which I understand says that in order to be shortlisted, the equipment should be fully compliant without any waivers."

The IAF had evaluated the six competitors on 660 parameters; Prins said adding that if waivers were to be granted to the aircraft, "I don't know where to draw the line."

Asked if the short listing of the two aircraft was a political decision, he said, "I think it was a political plus decision", which was a usual practice world over.

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