India plans to sign the $11 billion MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal with French Rafale by the end of this month-end or next month, a senior Indian Air Force official said .
"I find no reason why it shouldn't be signed by the end of this month or next month", Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, IAF, Air Marshal Rajinder Singh said.
He indicated that negotiations are currently on with regard to pricing for the 126-aircraft deal. "There is money....this thing here and there (pricing being finalised)".
The Air Marshal admitted to "some problems" (on pricing) but asserted that it's not unusual in such big deals. "It should come through", he said, adding that the first aircraft under the MMRCA deal would start "flowing in" in 2017.
The Air Marshal dismissed reports quoting Russian and German officials who had claimed that the deal is not final yet and that it's still up in the air.
"Nothing of that sort", he said, pointing out India had already declared the lowest bidder -- Rafale -- for the MMRCA deal.
Vyacheskav Dzirkaln, Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation,was recently quoted as saying:"I wouldn't say that MMRCA tender is a closed issue. We have information that the tender is still up in the air".
The deputy chief of the ruling CDU-led coalition's parliamentary committee in Bundestag (lower house of German Parliament) for foreign and defence affairs, Andreas Schockenhoff, reportedly said recently the last word had not yet been heard on the MMRCA deal.
Russia's MiG-35 did not make it to the MMRCA shortlist, which also included Eurofighter Typhoon,designed by a European consortium in which Germany is a part, besides Rafale.
The Economic Times