EADS company Cassidian has voiced its disappointment after the Eurofighter Typhoon's defeat in India's medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition, but appears to have accepted New Delhi's choice of Dassault's Rafale.
"India has taken the decision to select our competitor, although this is not yet a contract signature and the negotiations are still ahead," Cassidian said. "We are disappointed. However, we respect the decision of the Indian Ministry of Defence," it added.
Dassault officials were informed on 31 January that their Rafale bid had been judged the lowest-priced compliant proposal in a two-way battle with the Typhoon. The announcement provided a major boost for the French manufacturer, which has long sought a launch export buyer for its "omnirole" combat aircraft. Exclusive negotiations between the Rafale team and the Indian defence ministry for the planned 126-aircraft deal are expected to take place over the coming months.
"Based on the Indian government feedback we will now carefully analyse and examine this situation, together with our European partner companies and their respective governments," said Cassidian.
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The Indian decision represents the third disappointment for the Eurofighter team in a little over a month, with the Typhoon having also been rejected in competitions in Japan and Switzerland during December. The aircraft lost out along with the Rafale to the Lockheed Martin F-35 and Saab Gripen NG, respectively.
Prospects for further sales of the Typhoon exist in countries including Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Previous export buyers include Austria and Saudi Arabia, with Vienna having acquired 15 examples and Riyadh having so far fielded 24 from a 72-aircraft deal.
Source: Flight International