SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Boeing plans to withdraw its F-18E/F from the race and instead offer its F-15EX fighter jet this time, F-18E/F had failed to clear technical rounds last time and since this time too, IAF is insisting on carrying out technical trial rounds it might have seen writing on the wall that it withdrew F-18E/F and brought in F-15EX which many in IAF seems to believe has a better chance this time to clear technical trial rounds.
Saab which had fielded its Gripen-NG Demo a precursor to its Gripen-E program now has a much more stable product on offer that it is confident will clear technical trial rounds this time but the development of the Tejas Mk2 program that is of a similar class in India might dent its bid chances.
Russia again plans to offer its Mig-35 jet along with its Su-35 jets that were not on offer last time around. MiG-29 OVT prototype that was the precursor to the Mig-35 program had failed to clear technical trial rounds and was in the bottom two in terms of score. Su-35 jets in the Ukraine war have performed well even though two jets were lost the overall performance of the jets was impressive but it is unlikely IAF will opt for another heavy class fighter jet when it already operates 250 Su-30MKI fleets.
Lockheed F-21 aka F-16V is a downgraded F-16 that is on offer to India where Lockheed plans to beat its competition on price. A previous offer of F-16 Block 70 that was specially configured F-16 to meet IAF’s requirement is no longer on offer instead, F-16V which is an upgrade package that is on offer to the current operators of the F-16 worldwide is what will be offered to India, but this time integration of Indian weapons are also on offer.
Eurofighter consortium plans to offer its Typhoon Tranche 3 equipped with Eurofighter Typhoon European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) with an improved electronic attack (EA) and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities, which the company claims will be the game-changer that will allow Typhoon pilots to get the ‘first look’ and the ‘first shot’ and enable them to ‘crank’ harder, turning further away from the enemy fighter. After Dassault Rafale, only Eurofighter Typhoon was shortlisted after an intensive technical round of trials by the IAF in the previous MRCA tender.
Dassault Rafale remains the front runner as IAF is in favor to procure more Rafale F4 Configuration at a much cheaper price, Dassault already has got first movers advantage after it started upgradation of its facility in the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL), a joint venture between Reliance Infrastructure and Dassault Aviation at Mihan SEZ, not only to locally make Dassault Rafale but also service existing fleet of India and other countries in the region.
Made in India Payment in Rupees
96 jets will be made in India but only payments for 36 jets will be made in foreign currency with the majority of payments for 60 jets will now being made in Indian currency. idrw.org has been told that already all those who had submitted bids under RFI have been informed about this new clause and most of the OEMs are onboard after taking prior clearance from their respected governments.
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