The Indian Ministry of Defence on Wednesday, April 27, asked Dassault Aviation and Eurofighter to extend their commercial bids beyond the April 28 deadline for the 126-aircraft medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) requirement.
In effect, this signifies a down-selection of the two Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon for the deal, with the bids of the Boeing F/A-18, Lockheed Martin F-16, UAC MiG-35 and Saab Gripen NG being allowed to lapse.
The decision follows an exhaustive technical evaluation of the six types, and examination of the commercial and offset proposals. A final decision could come in September.
India expects to acquire its first 18 MMRCAs directly from the manufacturer, but with subsequent production shifting iteratively to India’s HAL company.