India scraps multi-billion dollar tender for 126 combat aircraft
The Government of India has withdrawn a multi-billion dollar tender for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), according to Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The decision to scrap the $20bn tender comes after the government decided to buy 36 Rafale multi-role combat aircraft from France's Dassault Aviation.
Parrikar's letter to the country's upper house read: "The request for proposal (RFP) issued earlier for the procurement of 126 MMRCA has been withdrawn.
"In the multi-vendor procurement case, the Rafale aircraft met all the performance characteristics stipulated in the RFP during the evaluation conducted by the Indian Air Force."
The competitors for the MMRCA tender, which the government issued the RFP in 2007, were the manufactures of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-16 Falcon, Gripen, Rafale, MiG-35 and Eurofighter Typhoons.
During his visit to France in April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested France to supply 36 Rafale aircraft in fly-away condition.
Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.
Image: A Dassault Rafale aircraft of the French Air Force. Photo: courtesy of Dassault Aviation.