A Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the defence ministry for purchase of 126 Rafale jets has been withdrawn after a government to government deal for buying 36 of the medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told parliament on Thursday.
“The RFP issued earlier for procurement of 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) has been withdrawn. In this multi-vendor procurement case, the Rafale aircraft met all the performance characteristics stipulated in the Request for Proposal (RFP) during the evaluation conducted by Indian Air Force,” Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
During his visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India will acquire 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as quickly as possible.
He and French President Francois Hollande had agreed to conclude an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than conveyed by Dassault Aviation as part of a separate process underway.
The delivery of 36 fighter jets would be in time-frame that would be compatible with the operational requirement of IAF; and that the aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by IAF, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France.
The minister added that a negotiating team has been constituted to negotiate the terms and conditions of the procurement of 36 Rafale jets and recommend a draft agreement. The meetings with the French side have commenced.