It is understood that the lowest bidder in India’s medium multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA) competition will be declared in the third week of January 2012. After bids of the two finalist contenders — Dassault’s Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon — were opened on November 4, it has been hectic work by the committee distilling a winner out of the closely fought final battle, a process that’s still very much on.
I’m a little unclear over the issue of validity of the commercial bids, though. It was on April 27 that the Indian MoD made its big down-select, inviting only Dassault and EADS Cassidian to extend the validity of their bids till December 31. The two final bids were finally opened on November 4. But their validity expires tomorrow. Does this mean the MoD needs to get the validity of the bids extended again? Or does it go with the bid value on the day it was opened. MoD sources say validity extension is not an issue at present since the bids were opened, and that provisions are in place for such a situation (in effect, an extension would have been mandatory only if the bids hadn’t been opened so far). Either way, if a validity confirmation (or other instrument as applicable) is required from the vendors, today is the last day.
Also spoke to both vendors. While one (won’t say which) says they’ve got the same query, the other was satisfied that it wasn’t an issue.