Sunday, July 14, 2013

Two months on, planes tender hits rough weather

New Delhi: India’s Rs 15,000-crore tender for 56 new transport planes for its air force has run into bad weather, just two months into the acquisition process.
 The tender (Request for Proposal or RfP in defence parlance) was issued in the first week of May this year for the transport aircraft that will replace the now near-obsolete fleet of Avro planes of the Indian Air force (IAF).
Not one of the eight foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to whom Indian Defence Ministry gave the tender papers have responded to the request, primarily because of a clause in the RfP aimed at creating an indigenous capability for building those planes in India.
Though the intention of the Defence Ministry regarding indigenisation is laudable, the present tender’s clause that the winning OEM should tie up with an Indian private industry for domestic manufacture of 40 of the 56 planes seems mindless or clearly, lack of application of mind, according to some foreign companies keen on the tender.
14/07/13 N C Bipindra/New Indian Express