No political considerations in awarding aircraft deals: Antony

Posted By: Pti
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AK Antony
New Delhi, Nov 11: Defence Minister A K Antony today (Nov 11) made it clear that there will be "no political considerations" in awarding the multi-billion dollar 126 combat aircraft deal which entered its last phase with the opening of commercial bids of two bidders.

Two companies including European Eurofighter and French Dassault Rafale are now left in the medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA) tender and their commercial bids were opened on November 4 by the Ministry.

"There will be no political considerations in defence procurement and that is our stand which everybody knows," he told reporters here.

The Minister was asked if the Defence Ministry would take into account geo-political considerations before deciding on the winner of the mega deal.

Antony said as far as his Ministry was concerned, "defence procurement is strictly professional and (based on) price. Technical evaluation is 101 per cent professional and then after that comes the price."

The Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft bid is backed by four partner nations including Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain whereas the Rafale bid is backed by the French government.

In April, the Defence Ministry had shortlisted the two aircraft while four companies including American Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Russian MiG 35 and Swedish Saab were rejected.

After the opening of commercial bids, the Defence Ministry is now busy with the process of determining the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of the two aircraft to determine the lowest bidder, which will be offered the contract.


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