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Britain again raises the pitch for Typhoon for fighter deal

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A Eurpfighter Typhoon photo.

BANGALORE (PTI): Britain has sought to raise the pitch for Eurofighter Typhoon, positioning it as the "strongest offer", two weeks after it lost out to French-made Rafale in the multi-billion contract for the supply of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to India.

"We feel that the Typhoon is the strongest offer...obviously, otherwise we wouldn't be hoping that's the competitive bid. Obviously, there are still some considerations that need to be made", UK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Browne told reporters in response to questions.

Eurofighter Typhoon is made by EADS and financed by the four-nation consortium of Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy.

He said Britain feels that Typhoon is the "best technology for India and also offers the right mix of technology transfer and it's the best operationally and it's the best in technology terms".

"I hope that the (Indian) government will continue to look at the (Typhoon) offer. My understanding is that the preferred bidder decision has been made but final outcome has not been completely determined and we continue to believe that we have an attractive offer available", Browne said.

Asked if Typhoon would lower the bid to win back the contract, he said: "That's a commercial decision which the people making the offer need to make".

On some British MPs demanding an end to British aid to India after Typhoon failed to win the contract, Browne said he certainly does not believe that one should link development spending to contracts. "No, I don't", he responded when asked if he subscribed to the view of some British MPs who saw India's decision as a "snub" and failure of British diplomacy.

"The Indian government is completely free to decide who wins contract", Browne said, noting that "obviously, when there is a British bidder, we would like the British bidder to be successful". He termed Typhoon as the "strongest offer".

Browne, however, stressed that the relationship between India and Britain is built on "much more solid foundations" and does not depend on a single contract, even a "big and important bid like this".

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India  MMRCA  Typhoon  Rafale  
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