South Africa’s defence acquisition, disposals and research and development agency Armscor on Tuesday announced that it had cancelled the tender “for the lease of an intercontinental aircraft” for the South African Air Force. This probably refers to the project to obtain a new Presidential VIP aircraft.
The tender (ETEL/2016/130) was cancelled because none of the bidders were able to meet all the requirements set out by Armscor. “The decision to cancel the tender was not an easy one to take considering that we had to cancel the previous one due to a no successful bid,” stated Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford.
However, the requirement for an intercontinental aircraft does not seem to have been cancelled. “It’s back to the drawing board for us, and we will maintain our unwavering insistence on total compliance in every aspect of the requirements,” he assured. “The Department of Defence and Military Veterans expects no less from us.”
The tender was released on August 17 this year. Bidders were required to meet specific criteria, which included requirements for the aircraft and technical specifications. They had to answer all the points in the tender and show compliance with the stated specifications. Noncompliance with any of these would result in the bidder being eliminated.
In the words of the Armscor press release, “none of the bids achieved a full score satisfactorily in the overall evaluation … A myriad of reasons led to the decision, but the driving force was our mandate which is to procure the best technology and defence matériel and equipment on behalf of our primary client and key stakeholder,” namely the South African National Defence Force.
The organisation assured that all the bids had been subjected to “a rigorous and highly intensive evaluation process”.