NEW DELHI --- A little more than a month after the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, announced that the Indian Navy intended to forego the acquisition of the naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and look elsewhere for new fighters, the navy issued a Request For Information (RFI) for 57 Multi Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF), last week.
According to the RFI, “The MRCBF are intended as day and night capable, all weather multi-role deck based combat aircraft which can be used for Air Defence (AD), Air to Surface Operations, Buddy Refuelling, Reconnaissance, EW missions etc from IN aircraft carriers.”
The navy stipulates that the eventual acquisition process will be awarded under the terms of the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 and will require deliveries of the aircraft to ‘commence within three years post conclusion of contract, and be completed within further period of three years’.
Responses to the RFI have to be submitted within four months from the date of issue and qualifying vendors will be shortlisted for issue of Request For Proposal (RFP).
The eventual RFP will be in accordance with the Single Stage-Two Bid System. The validity of commercial offers would be at least 18 months from the date of submitting of offers.
The RFI also makes clear that transfer of technology and license production will be required as part of the acquisition of the fighters. (end of excerpt)
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