Commercial bids for $11bn IAF fighter jet order to open today

New Delhi: India's ministry of defence will open commercial bids on Friday for an $11 billion contract to buy fighter jets for the Indian Air Force. The tender for the supply of 126 medium range, multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) has now moved to the final stage with two European contractors, Eurofighter and Dassault, shortlisted as the final choices for the order.

Both sides have submitted their commercial terms and conditions, including pricing and under Indian competition rules the lowest bidder will secure the contract.

The MMRCA tender, invited bids from American, Russian and Swedish contractors as well, but these offerings were rejected in April.

At the meeting, scheduled for today, the final bids will be opened in the presence of supplier representatives. According to defence ministry sources it may take another fortnight atleast to go through the bid documents to determine the final winner.

The Eurofighter consortium has offered the Typhoon fighter. This is a four-nation consortium of EADS, representing Germany and Spain, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica

The other short-listed finalist, French Dassault, has offered its Rafale fighter.