Multirole combat aircraft acquisition going on schedule: Minister

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Dubai, Nov 11 (UNI) The process to acquire 126 multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) to replenish the IAF's operational fleet is going on according to schedule, the Minister of State(MoS) for Defence Pallam Raju said here today.

''The tendering for the aircraft is over and now the suppliers are going through clarifications on details,'' the Minister told UNI while visiting the Indian pavilion the at Dubai Air Show.

India's ministry of defence recently floated a global tender, issuing a RFP (request for proposals) to global aerospace majors such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing of the US, Saab of Sweden, MiG Design Bureau of Russia and the Eurofighter consortium, for the purchase and co-production of 126 MMRCA.

Mr Raju said India was now looking at offset programmes to be agreed to by the suppliers and as the value of the programme is more than for other buys, the suppliers will have to critically look at possible partners to ensure their execution.

''The private companies in India have also now developed the capabilities just like PSUs and they can also be considered for collaboration,'' he said.

He said India has made a policy decision to enhance defence exports though it was a sensitive issue. He said one of the main potential items for export will be the supersonic Brahmos missile produced under Russian collaboration but the potential buyers will be carefully vetted by the government.

Five Indian companies are participating at the Indian pavilion which is organised by the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies&Industries (SIATI).

UNI

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