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Nothing wrong in our selection process for MMRCA deal: IAF

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

NEW DELHI (PTI): After the US expressed “disappointment” over the ouster of its two companies from the multi-billion-dollar combat aircraft deal, the Indian Air Force has asserted that there is “nothing wrong” in its selection process.

“Whether anyone is happy or unhappy, we have done whatever we were asked to do by the Government...If you select one aircraft, it always happens that other side would be dissatisfied. There is nothing wrong with our process. It is a human feeling,” IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said here on Monday.

On the last date of the expiry of the commercial bids for the tender, the Defence Ministry had shortlisted the European Eurofighter and the French Dassault Rafale for the 126 Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal.

Two American companies, including the Boeing and Lockheed Martin, were rejected by the IAF along with the Swedish Saab Gripen and the Russian MiG 35.

Asked if the rejected companies would be given reasons for disqualification, the IAF chief said, “Their debrief was done when the test got over. Everybody knows whether he is compliant or non compliant.”

US firm Boeing, whose F-18 aircraft did not make the cut in the shortlist, had expressed its “disappointment” and said it would seek a debrief from the IAF for its ouster from the tender.

On the future fleet of the IAF, Naik said it would comprise the Su-30s, MMRCAs and the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) along with the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

On issues about the anti-radiation missile in the deal, the IAF chief said, “These issues are not public issues. We have done our job and we have to decide about the L1 (lowest bidder).”

“We will sort out all issues as per the DPP (Defence Procurement Policy). Let the issue be sorted out and we will give you all the details,” he said without divulging any detail about the issue.

The issue, sources said, is over the sale of anti-radiation missiles, which are manufactured by an American firm and would require clearances by the US for sales to India.

Weapon systems are sold by the US through the Foreign Military Sales route and the countries acquiring such weapons require its permission for selling it to other sides.

The IAF tender mandates that the companies should offer a weapons package including anti-radiation missile while delivering the aircraft.


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