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UK held secret briefing for India

Manchester: At a time when NATO forces were destroying the bases of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Britain gave a secret presentation to the Indian Air Force (IAF) about the performance in the Libyan war of MBDA missiles, which have 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 Brim Stone precision guided missile," Frank Morgan, a senior MBDA executive, told a group of Indian reporters here.

MBDA is a four-nation European missile manufacturing consortium and has its facilities spread across Italy, the UK, France and Germany. The Brim Stone precision guided missile is part of the MBDA`s missile package on offer to the IAF for its tender for procuring 126 medium multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA).

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

The IAF is in the final stages of the contract for procuring the aircraft and is also looking to finalise the missiles to be equipped on them.

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

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