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Decision on 126 jet fighters deal soon

business Updated: Jun 18, 2007 14:16 IST

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The Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) will meet in a fortnight to decide on the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the acquisition of 126 jet fighters by the Indian Air Force, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Monday.

"The DAC will be meeting within a fortnight and decide on the RFP. All negotiations are over and now it is a question of formalities," he said when asked about the delay in issuing the RFP document for the multi-million dollar acquisition programme.

He said the RFP was likely to be issued within "one or two months". Earlier too, Antony has maintained that the RFP would be issued within two months.

Asked whether the Defence Ministry was "worried" about the acquisition of airpower by the LTTE, he said "we are watching that. We are not worried, but are concerned. A terrorist organisation gaining this kind of capability is a matter of concern".

On Sri Lanka, he said India had the "most cordial relations with the country. We are committed to its sovereignty, unity and integrity".

To Colombo's request for the supply of radars and other equipment to help them in their fight against LTTE, he said "We will support them in whatever help they need". He also pointed out that the ultimate solution to the ethnic problem was not military but a political solution.

Asked why the budgetary resources of the Ministry remained unspent in the last fiscal, Antony said the Defence Procurement Policy was approved in September 2006, bringing in new procedures and rules. "There was a certain delay, but we will fulfil the targets this year," he asserted.

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