Hope To Sign M-MRCA Deal By Year End: IAF Chief

"The MMRCA is very much on track. The Contract Negotiation Committee process is currently on. I expect contract negotiations to be complete by April/May this year. We should be in a position to sign the contract by the end of the year," Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Norman Browne said today at his press conference at the Aero India show.

He indicate that CNC had been on for only a year now -- they began in February 2012 after the final downselect -- and that he was "keen that it's all wrapped up this year". As a comparison, Browne pointed out that a contract for the IAF's Mirage 2000 upgrade had take more than two years, but that he hoped the MMRCA negotiations wouldn't take as long.

In response to a question about reported "discomfort" in workshare negotiations, Browe said there were "no issues" from the IAF's side. "Our interest is with the direct supply of 18 aircraft. The other 108 will be license produced by HAL. Dassault is free to choose production partners in India and abroad for kits. But these kits finally have to go to HAL for license production. We don't get into that. That isn't our concern."

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