Our Bureau
02:54 PM, February 9, 2015

Indian defense ministry is likely to decide on the sole Airbus-Tata joint bid to replace Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fleet of 56 Avro aircraft fleet with C-295 military transport carrier in the coming week.

Defense ministry sources said the next meetings of the defense acquisition council (DAC) would deliberate on the bid worth multi crore rupees. Though the meeting was scheduled to be held on February 9, it has been delayed by a few more days.

In May 2013, the Ministry had issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) to original equipment manufacturers including US firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin, European multinational Airbus Defence and Space, and Antonov of Ukraine among others. 

They were required to tie-up with an Indian private company under which 40 aircraft will be produced here while 16 will be bought off-the-shelf. 

However, only a single bidder — Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) consortium — had bid for the proposal in October last year. 

Under the current defense procurement policy, single vendor situation is not entertained unless cleared by the DAC.

A decision to this effect was expected to be taken by the Ministry in November last but was delayed as defense minister Manohar Parrikar had sought more information.

The defense sources said a decision could be taken soon. One of the options, besides selecting the consortium, is to go in for re-tendering in which the Indian companies become the main player rather than the foreign ones. 

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