MMRCA deal update
The IAF will make public in four weeks the winner of India’s biggest-ever Rs 42,000 crore military contract to acquire 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said. “We are calculating very hard. I expect (in) another four weeks, we should be able to wrap it up”, Browne told reporters amid intense flurry among the two remaining contenders Eurofighter and Dassault’s Rafale. “By mid-December we should have very good sense of who has been selected”, he said. Asked if he expects cost escalation vis-a-vis the contract, the Air Chief Marshal said, “I can’t tell you anything till the time we finish that work”. The defence ministry had shortlisted France’s Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale and EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon in April. Commercial bids from the two shortlisted vendors were opened on November four, marking the culmination of almost decade-long hunt for India’s new mainline fighter.