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procurement

Small Deals, Big Deals and the Big Brother of All

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More info on the proposed 126-jet megadeal

DEALS SIGNED WITH THE US

»In 2002, $190 million deal signed for the Indian Army’s AN/TPQ-37 weapon locating radar system for 12 radars.

»Landing platform dock USS Trenton, renamed INS Jalashwa, procured for the Indian Navy, worth $48.2 million, with six UH-3H helicopters meant to operate from it costing another $39 million.

»A $1 billion deal with the American company Lockheed Martin for six C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force, signed in early 2008.

»Three Boeing Business Jets for VVIP travel received by the IAF in 2008. The Rs 937 crore deal for the Indian Prime Minister and President’s travel was concluded in 2005.

»A $2.2 billion deal for eight P81 Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft from the US company Boeing for the Indian Navy.

IN THE PIPELINE

»The American firm Sikorsky is participating in a bid for the Indian Navy’s Rs 1,800 crore deal for 16 multi-role helicopters.

»Lockheed Martin and Boeing are in the fray for a huge $12 billion mega-deal for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft to be inducted by the IAF.

»Plus, America’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress in January this year about a possible foreign military sale (FMS) deal with India of 145 M777 155-mm lightweight towed Howitzers with Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems (Linaps) and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth about $647 million.

PROPOSALS REJECTED BY INDIA

»India, which had shown interest in Lockheed Martin’s P-3C Orion aircraft for Navy surveillance and reconnaissance, rejected the offer made by the US to lease out a couple of them to India. The proposed deal was worth an estimated $133 million.

»The US also offered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk to the Indian Navy last year, which was rejected by New Delhi. The ship was offered free of cost, under ‘hot transfer’, with only the air component to be paid for.

THE 126-JET MEGADEAL’S SIX CONTENDERS

»Russian MiG-35: it is an advanced version of the MiG-29 fighter aircraft, which is already in service in the IAF. Old diplomatic and military ties with Russia make a good chance for the aircraft to win. It is said to have successfully completed its trials.

»America’s F-16 by Lockheed Martin is currently in service in the Pakistan Air Force. Under pressure from reports of selling India old technology, the F-16 IN Super Viper is being marketed by Lockheed Martin as a whole new aircraft that is considered even better than its most advanced-till-date Block 60; this is the only aircraft which has an operationally functional AESA radar, for example, which is a requirement in India’s deal tender.

»America’s F-18 Super Hornet by Boeing is a twin-engine fighter plane that is said to be very expensive. In service with the US Navy, the F-18 is also an old technology aircraft.

»The Swedish company Saab’s Gripen is yet to complete all its trial phases, and is said to have undergone its trials with a model other than the Gripen Next Generation (NG), which is what is on offer to India, with the actual Gripen NG slated to come to India only next month.

»The European consortium EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), formed by the merger of companies from the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy, has offered the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is yet to complete all its trials. It is an expensive aircraft with the latest technology, but doesn’t have a proven combat track record.

»Dassault Aviation of France has offered its twin-engine and expensive Rafale aircraft, which is in service only in the French Air Force and Navy, and hasn’t ever been sold anywhere else in the world.