Just received word that the RfPs for the MRCA contract will be issued this month. There's been a great deal of activity between Vayu Bhavan and the MoD Acquisition Wing, and at least one reliable source said that they were working against time to get the document out by the end of June. The last post on the MRCA threw up yet another debate on the Tejas as an MRCA contender. That aside, if nothing else, the last three years has taught most of us reporting the hallowed 126 fighter contract one thing -- that there's no point reporting on when the RFP is likely to come out! Because it's always "likely" to come out.
The certainty from this particular source was just a pitch higher than it usually is, so I'm just putting it up here for what it's worth. Former IAF chief SP Tyagi even joked about it. When asked about the contract just before he retired, he said, " You can blame me for a lot of things, but not for inconsistency. For the last two years I have been saying exactly the same thing -- the RFP will be coming out soon". He was one bitter man when he realised the document wasn't going to be out before he retired -- believe me, he pushed for it harder than even ACM S Krishnaswamy. And he said so at Aero India 2007. Word now is that ACM Fali Major isn't really pushing too hard, though this is probably just malice at Vayu Bhavan.
On a sidenote. There's been some press recently about the LCA Tejas making its first international debut at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget later this month (I think the newsclip was also posted on the News Window on Bharat-Rakshak). I don't know where this came from, so I checked with HAL -- obviously there isn't going to be a Tejas in Paris. Not for a few years anyway! They're taking a pair of Dhruvs for sure. Maybe there'll be some good news there.
Labels: AIR FORCE, Aircraft And Helicopters, DEFENCE PROCUREMENTS