NEW DELHI --- Global aerospace manufacturers with huge stakes in India’s proposed procurement of hundreds of fighter aircraft, are struck by the level of detail the Indian Air Force (IAF) has sought in a Request for Information (RFI) issued on Friday.
The 72-page RFI, apart from specifying the IAF’s requirement in minute detail, seeks a clear commitment from vendors of their willingness to supply sensitive technologies, documentation, training facilities and performance guarantees.
The level of detail in the current RFI contrasts starkly with the sketchy, one-page RFI issued in 2004 in the ultimately aborted contest to supply the IAF with 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).
Last October, the IAF issued an even shorter, one-paragraph RFI, soliciting interest in supplying the IAF with 100-200 single-engine fighters. “The latest RFI seeks to avoid the mistakes of previous procurements, especially the MMRCA tender. In those, vendors were not pinned down to clear commitments about transferring technology. This time, the commitments demanded ensure that non-serious vendors would be eliminated at the RFI stage itself." Unwilling vendors may not even be issued an RFP (request for proposals), points out Air Marshal Nirdosh Tyagi, who managed the MMRCA procurement for several years. (end of excerpt)
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