The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning, for the second time, to extend the commercial bid validity of the six contenders for the medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, according to industry sources.

“The government is seeking a extension of the validity of the commercial bid expiring on 30 April as none of the vendors have received any indication from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) about being down listed, nor has the price negotiation committee been set up,” the source added.

The extension could cost the government $1bn more than the $10.4bn originally planned for 126 planes.

The new MMRCA aircraft will be the mainstay of IAF fighter aircraft fleet for the next 40 years and will replace its existing fleet of MiG variants.