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Indian Navy to hasten process for acquiring aircraft

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NEW DELHI (PTI): With security of coastal areas coming in for greater attention in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, the Indian Navy is all set to "hasten" the process of acquiring six medium-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, bids for which have been submitted to the Defence Ministry.

"Bids were submitted by the contenders in November last year before the Mumbai attacks. But with an urgency to fill the gaps in security of coastal areas, the acquisition process for these aircraft will be hastened," Defence Ministry sources told PTI.

The bidders for the contract include American Boeing with P-8 (a derivative of P-8I), Russian Illyushin, French Dassault Falcon and EADS. The request for proposal (RFP) for procuring these aircraft was floated by the Ministry in June 2008.

"Right now the bids submitted by the contenders are being evaluated by the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) of the Defence Ministry. By the end of this month, these companies are expected to submit their offset proposals to the Ministry," they said.

Under the Defence Procurement Procedure 2008, it is mandatory for the companies awarded defence contracts worth over USD 300 million to invest 30 per cent of the total amount back in the Indian defence sector. After going through the technical and offsets bids, the Ministry will shortlist the contenders who meet the requirements.

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