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Saab Mulls Legal Recourse Against Indo-Russian Deal on Air Defense System

© AFP 2023 / JUAN BARRETOVenezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez (R) mans a Russian-made 9K338 "Igla-S" (SA-18) man-portable air-defence (MANPAD) surface-to-air missile launcher in Caracas on March 14, 2015
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez (R) mans a Russian-made 9K338 Igla-S (SA-18) man-portable air-defence (MANPAD) surface-to-air missile launcher in Caracas on March 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyeniya’s (KBM) Igla-S was recently declared the lowest bidder for the Indian Army’s Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) program beating Saab’s RBS 70NG and MBDA’s Mistraal. The new-generation man-portable missile systems will replace the outdated Igla-M MANPADs the Indian Army presently operates.

New Delhi (Sputnik): After being defeated by Russia's Rosoboronexport in the competition for supplying very short-range air defense systems (VSHORADS) to the Indian Army, Swedish firm Saab on Thursday said that it was contemplating moving the court against the $1.5 billion deal alleging irregularity in the tendering process.

"We are evaluating the loss in the VSHORADS program, and evaluating a legal challenge that remains one of the options," Dean Rosenfield, Saab's Asia-Pacific head said on Thursday in Bangkok.

READ MORE: Russian Army to Get 1st Tor-M2DT Air Defense Missile Systems Next Week

Russia's Rosoboronexport was declared the winner of the tender which was floated in 2010 for the procurement of 5185 missiles and associated equipment under the Indian Army's VSHORAD program.

Indian defense ministry had announced the winner after the bid amount submitted by Rosoboronexport for supplying Igla-S was found well below the "benchmark price" of $2 billion while Saab had bid $2.6 billion and the French firm, MBDA, quoted $3.7 billion.

"Reality certainly hits home, and it's a reminder that it's not all roses. But we have 60 days to decide if we wish to pursue this legally. We wouldn't want to waste the government's time or our own," Rosenfield added.

READ MORE: Moscow, Riyadh in Talks on S-400 Delivery Date – Saudi Envoy

The S-400 missile defence system. - Sputnik International
India to Make Payments in Rupees for Russian Air Defence System - Gov't Source
Sources in India's defence ministry told Sputnik that Saab has alleged that the Russian system did not fulfill the performance in accordance with the requirement put out in the Indian Army's tender document. Besides, filing a complaint letter, an official of Saab reportedly met with the officials of the Indian defense ministry. 

Nevertheless, the Indian defense ministry has refuted the allegations while clarifying that the defense procurement procedure had been duly followed.

"The case has progressed as per provisions of Defence Procurement Procedure with level playing field to all the participating vendors," the Indian Defence Ministry clarified earlier this week.

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