Hindon, Ghaziabad: The winner of India's $11 billion tender for 126 combat aircraft should be known by November, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) chief air chief marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne.
The ACM offered his assessment a day after the defence acquisition council (DAC) led by defence minister AK Antony approved offset proposals by the two short-listed European finalists and cleared the way for the opening and appraisal of sealed commercial bids from European consortium EADS Cassidian and French Dassault.
While EADS has offered its Typhoon fighter, the French firm has its Rafale fighter on offer.
"In the middle of November, we shall be able to announce to the whole world which plane we have selected as the L1 vendor (lowest bidder)," Browne said in his interaction with the media after he inspected the 79th Air Force Day parade here.
Earlier in his address to the air warriors, ACM Browne said: "The process for acquisition of the MMRCA (medium range multi-role combat aircraft) is in its last lap and we should be able to open the bids in ten days' time from now."
However, explaining the complexities involved in finalising the winner, the IAF chief said that after opening of the commercial bids, "complex calculations" would be done in a tabular format of the entire life-cycle cost, the acquisition cost and the technology transfer.