New Delhi: India has no timetable for the hotly awaited decision to award its $11 billion fighter jet deal, a defense ministry official said on Friday, and he denied reports that the government had contacted the constructors.

Two European contenders are left in the race to sell India 126 fighter jets, in what will be one of the world’s biggest arms contracts, and help revamp the country’s creaking defense equipment in line with its rising global clout.

“We don’t know when the announcement is going to happen, so there is no point speculating when it will happen," the official, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

Fighter jet. Hemant Mishra/Mint.

Their competitor is France’s Dassault, which makes the Rafale plane. American, Russian and Swedish bids were rejected in April last year.

Earlier this week some sections of the Indian media carried a report that the Eurofighter Typhoon may have emerged as the lowest bidder and that representatives of the contractors would have been called by the defense ministry on Thursday.

The official said that no representative of any company had been called by the government.

The government opened the bids of the two competitors in November 2011. It was expected to take about two to three weeks to pick a winner.

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