New Delhi: The Defence Ministry on Friday opened the commercial bid to acquire 126 multi-role combat aircrafts and will decide about the lowest bidder in next six to eight weeks.
   
"The lowest bidder in the contract will be determined in another six to eight weeks time after evaluation of all the parameters," a Defence Ministry official said.
   
The bids of European Eurofighter and French Rafale were opened in the presence of their representatives.
   
The Ministry will now calculate the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of the two aircraft, which are to be operated for 40 years or 6,000 hours, they said.
   
Final commercial negotiations with the L-1 vendor (lowest bidder) will begin before the contract is ready for signing before the end of this fiscal.
   
Decks were cleared for opening the commercial bids after the Defence Acquisitions Council, chaired by Defence Minister A K Antony, approved the offsets evaluation reports of the Eurofighter Typhoon (backed by UK, Germany, Spain and Italy) and the French Rafale jets on October 7.
   
The other contenders including the American, Russian and Swedish jets were rejected by the IAF on the basis of their performance in the field evaluation trials.
   
As per the RFP, the first 18 jets will be supplied by the winning bidder from its own facilities whereas the remaining would be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India.

(Agencies)