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MMRCA trials to end by April: IAF Chief

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SATARA (BNS): The trials all the six aircraft competing for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal will be completed before April end next year, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Naik said, according to a media report.

"We will complete flight test evaluation for these aircraft by April...the report would then be sent to the government," PTI quoted Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Naik as saying.

The US' Lockheed Martin F-16s, French D'Assault's Rafale, Swiss SAAB's Gripen, European consortium EADS' Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian MiG-35 and F/A-18 are in the race to bag an estimated $10 billion order for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft deal conducted by IAF.

"The evaluation report would be discussed by the Cabinet Committee on Security, after which the process of awarding contract would be initiated, the aircraft would be in service by 2013," he said.

India had floated the tenders for the MMRCA in August 2007 and the exhaustive technical evaluation of the six global manufacturer' bids were completed early this year.

The MMRCA deal will help IAF in curbing the depleted IAF squadron strength. The 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft will help in the rapid modernization of the force.

The Air chief was present in the district to attend alumni meet of the Defence Ministry-managed Sainik School here.

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