Saturday, May 28, 2011

MMRCA, French Defense Minister visits India

May 27th, Livefist blog reports the following statements about the MMRCA made by French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet, during a press conference in New Delhi

"We have full confidence in Indian procedures. The government wants full transparency, and Dassault has been completely transparent." 

In an expected swipe at the Eurofighter consortium, the French Defence Minister said, "We are one country, and we have enjoyed a relationship since 1953. Dealing with one country you know well, I imagine, is better than dealing with four countries. It is just simpler."
Also, "There will be no restrictions on the use of our equipment. That is an assurance." He provided no further details on the Rafale offer.

On the IAF Mirage-2000 upgrade, Longuet said, "We are in the final stages of the upgrade agreement. It is up to the Indian political establishment to take a decision. We are confident that it will happen soon."

As usual the the French remain almost silent about this contest.

Meanwhile, the Financial Express reveals that the commercial bids could be opened next week and that the Rafale would be the prefered choice of IAF officials:

[...]The opening of the commercial bids would lift the suspense on the lowest bidder, paving the way for commercial negotiations. Defence officials from France and Germany are currently touring India to promote their offerings, leaving no stone unturned to swing the deal in their favour.
Indian Air Force (IAF) officials are believed to be rooting for the Rafale, which could come across as the lowest bidder owing to its low lifecycle cost. However, Eurofighter’s offer to set up a production line in India could give it some leverage.[...]

If the Rafale is indeed the lowest bidder, this will however not be over for the Eurofighter as the whole range of costs, transfer of technologies and offsets will have to be assessed by the Indian authorities. A process that could take quite a long time.

Finaly, The Indu emphasizes on the independence garanties coming with the French offer :

[...]The French military equipment comes with three points — guarantee of availability of spares, no restriction on the use of equipment and offer to upgrade equipment as technology evolves.[...]  

also read the AP report 

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