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MMRCA procurement at contract negotiations stage: Antony

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The Eurofighter Typhoon and French Rafale have been shortlisted for the MMRCA deal.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The final cost of procurement of 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) for the Indian Air Force would be known after completion of negotiations and finalisation of the contract, the government told the Lok Sabha Monday.

In written reply to a question in the lower house, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "The proposal is now at the contract negotiations stage, and the final cost of procurement would be known only after completion of negotiations and finalisation of the contract."

He said the Defence Acquisitions Council had accorded Acceptance of Necessity for procurement of 126 M-MRCA at an estimated cost of Rs 42,000 crore in June 2007.

Replying to a query related to offset proposal of the contract, he said, "As per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2006 these (offset) relate to direct purchase of defence products or services or direct investments with Indian offset partners as per the stipulated guidelines."

On modernisation of IAF's transport and helicopter fleet, he said, "This includes induction of C-130J Transport Aircraft, C-17 Heavy Transport Aircraft, Medium Transport Aircraft as well as helicopters for various transport, recce and surveillance and operational tasks."

Antony informed the House that the operational capabilities of the IAF are reviewed periodically to ensure these are adequate to meet the security challenges.

On delivery of C-17 transport aircraft, he said, "All ten C-17 aircraft and their associated equipment are expected to be delivered to the IAF between June 2013 and June 2015."

Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) have been signed with United States for procurement of ten C-17 Globemaster aircraft as well as six C-130J aircraft, Antony said.

"The estimated cost of the procurement of the C-17 aircraft is USD 4.116 billion while the cost of the procurement of the C-130J aircraft is USD 962.4 million," he said.

The induction of the C-130J aircraft commenced in February 2011 and five aircraft have been inducted into the IAF so far. The sixth aircraft is planned for induction by the end of this month, Antony said.

On scheduled induction of Light Combat Air craft (LCA), the Minister said it is expected to achieve Initial Operational Clearance for induction into the IAF in 2012.

In reply to a query on helicopter fleet of the Air Force, he said, "The major parts of the helicopter fleet have useful residual life which is being gainfully utilised. Steps have been taken to both upgrade the existing fleet as well as to induct new helicopters for various tasks."

Contracts have been signed for procurement of Medium Lift Helicopters from Russian Rosobornexport and Advanced Light Helicopter from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, he said.

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MMRCA  Defence  contract  
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