Request For Proposal for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft Issued
(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Aug. 28, 2007)
India has finally issued its $10 billion RFP for up to 190 modern combat aircraft to replace its older MiG and Jaguar (above) fighters. (US Air Force photo)
The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 42,000 crores (approx. $10 billion-Ed.) for the Indian Air Force was issued today to six vendors – Russia’s MIG-35 (RAC MiG); Swedish JAS-39 (Gripen); Dassault Rafale (France); American F-16 Falcon (Lockheed Martin); Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon (made by a consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian firms).

The 211-page document deals with various issues relating to initial purchase, transfer of technology, licensed production and life-time maintenance support for the aircraft. The RFP contains the selection model that would involve an exhaustive evaluation process as detailed in the Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) – 2006.

The proposals from the likely contenders would first be technically evaluated by a professional team to check for compliance with IAF’s operational requirements and other RFP conditions. Extensive field trials would be carried out to evaluate the performance. Finally, the commercial proposal of the vendors, short-listed after technical and field evaluations, would be examined and compared. The aircraft are likely to be in service for over 40 years.

Great care has been taken to ensure that only determinable factors, which do not lend themselves to any subjectivity, are included in the commercial selection model. The selection would be transparent and fair.

Under the terms of purchase, the first 18 aircraft will come in a ‘fly away’ condition while the remaining 108 will be manufactured under Transfer of Technology. The vendor finally selected would also be required to undertake 50% offset obligations in India.

The ToT and offset contracts would provide a great technological and economic boost to the indigenous defence industries which would include Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Raksha Udyog Ratnas and other eligible private sector industries. Foreign vendors would be provided great flexibility in effecting tie up with Indian partners for this purpose.

It may be recalled that the Defence Minister Shri A K Antony while chairing the Defence Acquisition Council Meeting on June 29, 2007 had outlined three guiding principles for this procurement scheme.

First, the operational requirements of IAF should be fully met. Second, the selection process should be competitive, fair and transparent, so that best value for money is realized. Lastly, Indian defence industries should get an opportunity to grow to global scales. (ends)

India Floats Biggest Ever Global Defence Tender for Fighters
(Source: ddi Indian Government news; issued Aug. 29, 2007)
The government on Tuesday issued the Request for Proposal for the procurement of 126 fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force to six international vendors, at an estimated cost of forty two thousand crore rupees.

India floated its biggest ever global defence tender for purchase of 126 Multi-role Combat aircraft, in a deal which would run up to a staggering Rs 42,000 crores (approx 10 billion dollars), the strength of IAF fighters during this year had plunged to an all time low of 32 squadrons (576 aircraft).

An official announcement in New Delhi said the Request For Proposals (RFP) for the fighters had been issued to six main bidders, ending a eight-year suspense over the acquisition.

Under the proposal, 18 fighters would be bought off the shelf and remaining 108 manufactured under technology transfer in India. The RFP also stipulates an option of India purchasing another 64 fighters under the same terms and conditions.

The Defence Ministry expects the first batch of 18, which would be supplied in a flyaway condition to be inducted in IAF by 2012.

The chosen manufacturer would have to spend 50 percent as direct offsets on the aircraft or defence manufacturing industry in India, the announcement said.

"As the tender is huge, 50 percent direct offsets has been mandated, preferably in the aircraft project itself", top defence ministry sources said. Former Defence Secretary Shekar Dutt had gone on record as saying that the offsets could flow to other defence projects, if the country needed them.

The six bidders as listed by the Defence Ministry are American aviation giants Lockheed Martin in contention with their F-16 Fighting Falcon; Boeing with twin-engined F-18/A Super Hornets; French Dassault with Rafale fighter; Swedish SAAB's Gripen JAS-3; Eurofighter Typhoon and Russian Aircraft Corporation's just unveiled Mig-35.

Asserting that the selection process would be "transparent and fair", the Defence Ministry said the new fighters were expected to have a lifeline of over 40 years or an actual flying time of 6,000 hours, whichever is earlier.

For the first time under the new fighter RFP, the Government has incorporated the Life cycle cost calculation. The tender also stipulates guaranteed serviceability and adequate supply of spares throughout the lifetime of the aircraft.

The costs of the aircraft would include direct acquisition including that of weapons and missiles, warranty for first two years, licence royalty for manufacture in India, cost of technology transfer and costs of initial training.

While the Defence ministry did not disclose the Air Staff Requirements as laid down by the IAF, sources said Air Force parameters broadly included that the fighters should be able to execute all missions from air defence to ground and maritime attack as well as reconnaissance.

Mid-air refuelling is a must for the new aircraft.

The six vendors will be given six months from Tuesday to respond to the RFP, and after an evaluation of the technical documents, field trials of the aircraft and their systems would be undertaken to match the claim of manufacturers. These will be followed by weapons tests in the country of respective manufacturers.

The vendors will submit two documents--technical bids and commercial bids.

The commercial bids would only be opened after all trials and evaluation has been completed.

After price negotiations are gone through the contract will be put up for approval of the Defence Minister who will then send it to Cabinet Committee on Security for a final nod.

The RFP gives the aircraft manufacturers to choose their partners either from Public Sector undertakings or Private players. But Hindustan Aeronautics limited, the country's sole established aircraft manufacturer would be the lead integrator.


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