The Indian Air Force is in the "last lap" of finalising its multi-billion dollar combat aircraft deal for which commercial bids of two shortlisted vendors would be opened by October 18.
"We are in the last lap of Medium-Multirole combat aircraft project. We should be able to open the commercial bids in ten days from now," Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said in his address at the Air Force Day parade in Ghaziabad.
The Defence Ministry had yesterday cleared the way for opening the commercial bids of Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon by approving their offset proposals.
After the bids are opened, the Defence Ministry will be able to determine the lowest bidder in the deal and decide who will ultimately get the contract described as the 'mother of all deals'.
Defence Ministry officials had said that all the spade work for the opening of bids was over and the bids will be opened in the presence of the two vendors.
Eurofighter and Rafale were shortlisted for the tender after four companies including American Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Russian MiG 35 and Swedish Saab Gripen were ousted from the race in April.
Speaking on other important IAF modernisation programmes, the IAF Chief said, "The C-130J Hercules and the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) have been inducted and operationalised in good time".