Monday, December 10, 2012

India, Boeing haggle over aircraft deal

New Delhi, Dec 10, 2012, DHNS

Negotiations on with US for six more carriers

India has offered one-fourth of the price reportedly quoted by US aviation major Boeing to purchase 15 heavy-lift Chinook helicopters and 22 Apache attack helicopters for the air force.

India’s combined offer for the two deals was around Rs 5,500 crore while Boeing demanded close to Rs 20,000 crore.

“The acceptance of necessity cost for 15 heavy-lift helicopters and 22 attack helicopters is Rs 2,468.41 crore and Rs 3,094.98 crore respectively. Boeing’s Chinook-CH-47F (I) and Apache AH-64D has emerged as the L1 vendor (lowest bidder) respectively,” Defence Minister A K Antony informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Boeing had reportedly quoted $ 1.4 billion (Rs 7,600 crore approximately) for the Apaches and $ 2.4 billion (about Rs 13,000 core) for the Chinooks.

The final price will depend on the outcome of the contract negotiation with the L1 vendor, the minister said, stressing that all capital procurements were carried out according to norms laid out in the defence procurement procedure.

Meanwhile, the government is keeping an eye on possible usage of Chinese counterfeit electronic parts in military platforms, which was red-flagged by a committee in the US Senate earlier this year. The committee had warned about the presence of Chinese counterfeit components in critical US military platforms, including the P8I and C-130J transport carriers, which IAF had acquired.

Thereafter, the Defence Ministry had asked Boeing about Chinese components in the P8I naval reconnaissance aircraft. Both Boeing and US government had assured the Defence Ministry that they were genuine. A list of suppliers to the US firms was also handed over to India.

On the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, used for special operations, Antony said: “In the last four years of operation of US defence equipment, including the C-130J transport aircraft, the IAF has not encountered any faulty spare parts.”

After the first C-130J landed in India in January 2011, the IAF used six of these planes for about a year. Negotiations are on between India and the US over an order for six more carriers.

Antony also said India lost 54 military aircraft in the last three financial years.

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