Indian RFP for New Fighter Pleasing and Puzzling

 - November 20, 2007, 5:21 AM

How good is the Indian Air Force’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the supply of 126 new fighters to meet the medium multi-role combat aircraft requirement? After all, the Indians have never previously handled such a high-value defense procurement in this manner. During the Dubai Air Show, two of the six industry contenders told AIN that they were impressed with the document, which runs to more than 200 pages. But another said the methodology that the Indians have adopted for reaching a decision was not clear. The RFP defines a two-part process that defers any consideration of the cost of each proposal until the technical evaluation is complete. This leaves no scope for trading off capability against cost. The six contenders [DEFENSE PERSPECTIVE SEPTEMBER: INDIA ISSUES RFP FOR KEY FIGHTER CONTEST] have until next March to respond. AIN will be reporting further on this high-stakes contest during the Singapore Air Show.