The Indian Air Force’s plans to sharpen its combat potential have been delayed with the Defence Ministry cancelling a global tender worth $550 million for buying 22 attack helicopters.
The request for proposal (RFP) was issued last May to Boeing (Apache Longbow), Bell (AH-1 Super Cobra), Eurocopter (Tiger), AgustaWestland (AW-129 Mangusta) and Kamov (Ka-50 Black Shark).
Confirming that the RFP has been cancelled, Defence Ministry sources said on Tuesday that the three offers received from foreign vendors did not meet the qualitative requirements set by the government and a fresh tender would be issued shortly.
Earlier, the government had scrapped two multi-billion dollar defence deals for the purchase of 400 155-mm towed artillery guns and 197 light helicopters for the army.
Over the years, the Defence Ministry has failed to fully utilise funds made available to it for modernisation. It has been unable to spend over Rs 7,007 crore of the total capital outlay of Rs 48,007 crore last year. Sticking to the trend of surrendering funds, it had surrendered Rs 3,750 crore in 2007-08.