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IAF pushes for opening of aircraft bids to replace MiG 21s

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Six firms, including US's Boeing and Lockheed Martin, had contended for the MMRCA contract.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Keen on getting 126 combat aircraft as early as possible, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is pushing for the commercial bids of the two contenders – Eurofighter and Dassault – to be opened before the end of this month.

“We are pushing the Defence Ministry to open the bids of these two companies by the end of this month,” a senior IAF official told PTI.

After the opening of the commercial bids, the Defence Ministry will work out the L-1 (lowest bidder) in the tender on the basis of the life cycle cost of operating the two aircraft.

“There are around nine enclosures and each of them have 20 points which include parameters like labour cost, repairing and maintenance cost, cost of spare parts and their service ability and the man-hours required to maintain the aircraft. All this would be taken into account to determine the lowest bidder,” the official said.

As per the Defence Procurement Procedure, the vendors offering a military product at lowest price and meeting all the requirements are awarded the contract.

IAF had evaluated six contenders including Eurofighter and Dassault Aviation. In April, the other four contenders including American Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Russian RAC MiG and Swedish Saab Gripen were intimated that they will not be allowed to take part in the further tendering process.

IAF had evaluated them on 660 parameters and Defence Ministry had said that the deal was expected to be finalised by the end of this fiscal.

The aircraft will be used by the Air Force to replace its fleet of MiG-21s and augment its capabilities to carry out multi-role missions.

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