We will bid again on $ 600 mn Eurocopter deal and win: France

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (UNI) France today said it was ''not satisfied'' with the reason given by India for scrapping a 600 million dollar deal to buy 197 military helicopters from Eurocopter, and declared that it would bid again and win the contract.

Addressing a press conference, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the helicopter deal and the Mirage 2000 aircraft issue came up for discussion during his talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday.

''We did not protest nor did we provoke..., but I was not satisfied with the reason given by India,'' Mr Kouchner said.

''We were sure of winning the contract as our offer fully met with what the defence needed.... Our technical material is the best which could be suitably adapted to India's defence,'' he said.

Mr Kouchner said the Indian side told him that the bidding process had to start again.

''It may take three months, six months or a year for the process to start.... But we will bid again and win the contract the next time,'' he added.

The India Government cancelled the deal as Eurocopter, the helicopter unit of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), reportedly deviated from pre-approved parameters of the request for proposal (RFP).

The contract was part of an army modernisation programme to replace the Indian military's vintage fleet of French-built Alouette helicopters.

It was alleged that the deal was scrapped on the directions of the US, the other main bidder for the contract.

On the Mirage issue, he said it had been delayed a bit.


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