IAI emerges as lowest bidder for Indian Army’s Radar program

IAI emerges as lowest bidder for Indian Army’s Radar program

November 10, 2019 0 By Luis Garrison


welcome to warn, todays news is. IAI emerges as lowest bidder for Indian Army’s
Radar program Israel Aerospace Industries on Friday emerged
as the lowest bidder against Thales of France for the Indian Army’s $500 million procurement
program of 66 new-generation 3-D surveillance and tracking radars, which will replace aging
Flycatcher radar systems. However, signing of the contract with IAI
will take time because the Indian Ministry of Defense will continue to pursue an even
cheaper option for the program, a senior MoD official said. As per tender norms, IAI will discharge 30
percent of the contract value as offsets to Indian companies, he added. Executives from both IAI and Thales were unavailable
for comments. Following the failure of an acquisition during
its first attempt, the MoD floated a second Buy Global request for proposal in December
2012 to Raytheon of the United States, Thales, IAI, SELEX Sistemi Integrati of Italy and
Rosoboronexport of Russia. The RFPs also were sent to two Indian companies
� state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited and private sector Larsen & Toubro. Rheinmetall Defence of Germany was not given
the tender because it was blacklisted in July 2010 for 10 years. However, only Thales, IAI, and L&T (with Cassidian,
which is now Airbus, and Elta Systems of Israel) submitted a bid. Out of the three bidders, only IAI and Thales,
both foreign original equipment manufacturers, were cleared after field trials from August
to December 2015, followed by a commercial bid opening last week where IAI emerged as
the lowest bidder. An initial RFP was issued in 2008 and was
sent to Rheinmetall Defence, Thales, IAI, Rosoboronoexport, Bumar of Poland and Raytheon. Only Thales and Rheinmetall Defence filed
their bids. The other vendors did not file their technical
or commercial bids for the program. However, Rheinmetall Defence was rejected
because it did not conform to the specified requirements for the Flycatcher’s successor. And Thales could not field its radar for trials,
thus its tender was withdrawn. An executive with industry advocate the Federation
of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said:
“For Indian private industry participating in this program, the import of radio frequency
systems and parts [for radar] are classified as restricted items in India, and thus their
import is in denial category for private sector companies without specific authorization,
which resulted [in] months delay in imports severely constrained system assembly, integration
and trials.” A senior Indian Army official said the Flycatcher
radar systems currently in service are outdated. Flycatcher is a legacy system more than 20
years old, thus the system’s replacement is essential for systems compatibility with the
upgraded air defense gun program being undertaken, according to Rahul Bhonsle, a defense analyst
and retired Indian Army brigadier. The CEO of a private sector defense company,
speaking on condition of anonymity, said if the MoD had kick-started the Make in India
program for 3-D surveillance and tracking radar systems in 2008, domestic companies
would have supplied these radar systems by now. “This is primarily for defending India’s vulnerable
assets and locations. Since all the critical technologies are already
available within India, Indian OEM will be in a position to deliver contemporary system
under Buy India category,” he said. The senior MoD official said this program
will go ahead and not be scrapped, but also noted that air defense fire control radars?
are the future requirements of the Army, and these can easily be built by domestic companies
either on their own or through program-level partnership with a foreign companies. “There is a distinct possibility of converting
this program into Make in India; it is surprising why same has been perused based on a legacy
request for information and request for proposal. Today, Indian companies in public and private
sector have the capability to manufacture these, albeit in tandem with technology collaboration,”
Bhonsle said.