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Combat jet order: India to announce winner early in 2012
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 12/26/2011 12:00:00 AM
Combat jet order: India to announce winner early in 2012

New Delhi : The government is all set to announce the winner of the Indian Air Force (IAF) competition for 126-plus combat jets early in 2012.

Authoritative sources told India Strategic defence magazine (www.indiastrategic.in) that the process was nearing completion but there were volumes of paperwork and the complicated costs involving Transfer of Technology (ToT), Offsets, Lifecycle Upgrades and Maintenance Support.

Every detail was being looked into as this was India s -- and the world s -- single biggest defence tender yet in the 21st century. The defence ministry has not set any deadline to the process, but it could be a New Year gift to the Indian Air Force as the announcement could come around mid-January.

Notably, the financial bids of the two finalists in the fray, European consortium EADS Eurofighter and French Rafale, are valid only till Dec 31. Both of them could be asked to extend the validity of their offers for another few months. However, even if the choice is made within this month, the winner would be asked for an extension to facilitate negotiations and finalisation.

It may be recalled that the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, had said Dec 18 in Bangalore that by mid-December we should have a very good sense of who has been selected . Understandably, by now, the IAF and the defence ministry should know who is winning -- or who is the lowest -- but till all the voluminous paperwork has been examined to the last full stop, the files are Top Secret and literally For Your Eyes Only for those dealing with the subject.

The Air chief, who was speaking on the margins of a conference at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, had also said: I can t tell anything till the time we finish that work, as there are a lot of complicated calculations and figures that need to be checked. Initially, when the tender was floated in August 2007, the estimated cost for 126 aircraft with two years support and weapons was

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Combat jet order: India to announce winner early in 2012

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