In an unusual bilateral tie-up, India has agreed to share with Brazil some of its experiences of carrying out an open tender evaluation to select a fighter for the over $10 billion MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) contract. Brazil is presently in the process of selecting a fighter for its air force.
India conveyed its willingness to share some of its documentation on the MMRCA contract during a meeting between defence minister AK Antony and his Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim.
“Brazil is in the process of buying a fighter jet. You have already reached the final stages of the fighter selection for the air force. They have promised to give us some documents on the selection process, such as basic rules on the tender process that we could compare to ours,” Amorim told TOI.
Amorim met Antony and national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon on Monday in New Delhi, and the two sides held bilateral defence consultations at various levels.
Amorim said Brazil was eager to learn from India’s process of finalizing Rafale, the French fighter, for the over $10 billion MMRCA contract. It is one of the world’s biggest defence tenders right now.
Brazil is looking to buy 36 new fighters for its air force. The tender had left it open to the possibility of the number of fighters going up to 120. The tender could run into several billion dollars, though the initial estimate was just $2.2 billion. Brazil has already made a pre-selection of three fighters – Rafale, F-18 and Gripen-NG and one will finally be selected.
“Wherever there is a possibility we should always look for sharing of experience, of course while respecting confidentiality,” Amorim said. “Sharing of experience doesn’t mean we follow your decision,” he added. The minister also said they would be looking at discussing Indian experience of building a fifth generation fighter with Russia.
Brazil is also providing India an exclusively developed catalogue of NATO military equipment, in which India was interested, he said.