Saturday, April 30, 2011

US ‘Disappointed’ by India Shut-out; No Official Word from India Yet

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi was informed yesterday that two aircraft offered by the U.S. Government through the Foreign Military Sales process were not selected for procurement by the Indian Ministry of Defense.

Ambassador Roemer noted, "We are reviewing the documents received from the Government of India and are respectful of the procurement process. We are, however, deeply disappointed by this news. We look forward to continuing to grow and develop our defense partnership with India and remain convinced that the United States offers our defense partners around the globe the world's most advanced and reliable technology.

“I have been personally assured at the highest levels of the Indian government that the procurement process for this aircraft has been and will be transparent and fair. I am extremely confident that the Boeing F/A 18IN and Lockheed-Martin F-16IN would provide the Indian Air Force an unbeatable platform with proven technologies at a competitive price."

Below are the most interesting items published by the Indian press regarding the MMRCA fighter short-list issued by the Indian government. Neither Boeing nor Lockheed Martin have posted statements on their websites, and the Indian government has so far issued no statement on the subject.

 Reacting to the decision, Boeing said, "We are obviously disappointed with this outcome. Our next step is to request the IAF for a debrief. Once we have reviewed the details. We will make a decision concerning our possible options, always keeping in mind the impact to the IAF." (Press Trust of India)

"We believe we offered the IAF a fully compliant and best value multi-role aircraft for its defined missions and we will continue to look for opportunities to help India modernise its armed forces and enhance its aerospace industry," it added in a statement. (Press Trust of India)

-- Lockheed said the US government was working on a response to the letter issued to it by the Defence Ministry conveying the rejection of the US companies. (Press Trust of India)

-- The bids of all six contenders (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Saab, EADS Eurofighter, Dassault Aviation and the Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation) expired on Thursday. Only Eurofighter and Dassault Aviation have been asked to extend the validity of their commercial bids till December 31. (Daily News Analysis India)

-- The ministry of defence (MoD) sent out letters on April 26 to all six competing vendors notifying them of the decision. (Daily News Analysis India)

-- A source at India’s MoD said the rejection of the four contenders was on technical grounds and that the commercial bids of both the short-listed companies would now be opened. Whoever is finally selected will be retained for further price negotiations, as per the seventh and eighth steps of India’s Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) under the defence ministry. Benchmarking of prices is being done now, after which the final decision will be taken. (Daily News Analysis India)

-- According to top officials of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), MiG-35 had already conducted modifications as per the requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF), and Russia was ready for technology transfer as per Indian wishes. (Daily News Analysis India)

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