MMRCA Contract By Sept, Unless Spoilsports Shaft Our Decision: IAF Chief

"Price negotiations for the MMRCA begin in a week or two. I am hopeful of a decision by September this year, unless dissatisfied vendors put a spoke in the wheel (sic)," said Indian Air Force chief PV Naik today at Aero India 2011. The chief pointed out that all hurdles pertaining to offsets had been sorted out, and that if price negotiations began on schedule in the next two weeks, he was hopeful of a final contract decision by September. "But you know how it is," the chief said, "Others may try to put a spoke in the wheel. And if that happens, everything takes its own course."

In other developments, the IAF chief announced that the IAF Mirage-2000 upgrade contract would be signed before the end of March this year. "The draft report is with the MoD, it will be concluded this financial year," said the IAF Deputy Chief. Air Chief Naik commented, "It was a very difficult negotiation, but results will now come very fast."

The IAF chief announced that his service would shortly order 50 more Mi-17-V5 helicopters from Russia as a follow on to the 80 contracted in 2008 and which begin delivery in March.

Photo Courtesy The Hindu

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