RTT News – April 28, 2011
India has shortlisted European consortium Eurofighter and France’s Dassault Aviation SA for a $10-billion fighter jet deal involving 126 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
U.S. giants Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp, Russia’s United Aircraft Corp, and Sweden’s Saab AB were eliminated from the bidding process, Indian Defense Ministry sources said on Thursday.
Commercial bids placed by all the companies were due to expire on Saturday. Only Eurofighter and Dassault were asked to extend their bids until December, the sources added.
Shortlisting of Eurofighter’s Typhoon and Dassault’s Rafale aircraft was based on technical evaluations.
The IAF had reportedly tested the performance of the planes and submitted its evaluation report to the Defense Ministry in July 2010.
Eurofighter is a consortium of four countries – Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany – and three companies – Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems and European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company (EADS).
The deal has been one of the largest and most sought-after military contracts in recent years.
The aircraft acquisition is part of India’s program to upgrade and modernize its Air Force, which largely comprises outdated Russian-built MiG-21 aircraft.