Libya-war sales demo to India

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 17.10.11

Manchester, Oct. 16 (PTI): At a time Nato forces were destroying Muammar Gaddafi’s bases, Britain gave the Indian Air Force a secret presentation about the Libya war performance of a category of missiles that has been offered to New Delhi.

“A presentation was given to the Indian Air Force two months ago where senior officers, including the present chief (Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne) were present, about the performance of the Brimstone precision guided missile,” said Frank Morgan, senior executive of European missile-maker MBDA.

The IAF, which is finalising a contract to procure 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft, is also looking to decide the missiles they are to be equipped with. The Brimstone is part of MBDA’s missile package on offer to India.

Morgan said the presentation was made at the Air Headquarters in New Delhi by Air Commodore E. Stinger, the Air Component Commander of Britain’s Royal Air Force.

The British forces took out tanks, armoured vehicles and sniper positions belonging to Gaddafi loyalists using the Brimstone’s precision strike capabilities, Morgan said.

India has short-listed two European aircraft manufacturers for the tender — the four-nation Eurofighter and the French Rafale — following extensive trials of six aircraft, including the American F-16 and F/A-18 E/F, the Russian MiG-35 and the Swedish Saab Gripen.

The defence ministry is to open the commercial bids for those short-listed by end-October and is expected to finalise the winning bid by March next year.

Morgan said the Brimstone can be integrated with several aircraft, including the Russian origin ones, that could become part of the IAF’s fleet.

The MBDA is a four-nation consortium and has its facilities in Britain, France, Italy and Germany.