Decks cleared for $10-bn IAF fighter jet deal

Decks have been cleared for the finalisation of $10-billion deal to provide 126 new fighter aircraft to the IAF. The Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister on Friday cleared the opening of commercial bids for the two contenders Eurofighter and Rafale.

Sources said the two parties will be called for opening of commercial bids within 10 days following which the winner would be decided.

Formal letters inviting the two companies for commercial bidding are likely to be issued shortly. Top honchos from both firms are expected to fly in within a week's time.

However, it may take about a month after opening of the bids to determine the winning contender. Sources said an agreement to buy new fighter would be signed in the current financial year.

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