http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index....=view&id=34071§ionid=83&issueid=99&latn=2 Weapons of choice Sandeep Unnithan March 27, 2009 Delhi: Russia’s near-monopoly over the Indian arms market seems to be coming to an end, thanks to the armed forces policy of placing a premium on performance and not cost. Soon after Boeing’s $1.8-billion contract for eight P-8I Poseidon long-range naval maritime patrol aircraft—costlier than rival Airbus—the IAF is set to acquire six Airbus tankers. Senior Defence Ministry officials confirmed that a 1-billion euro contract for six Airbus A-330 multi-role tanker-transports is close to being finalised. This despite the makers of the Russian IL-78 tanker, six of which the IAF has in service, offering a lower bid. The IAF chose Airbus for its larger fuel load and its dual transport capability. This decision has a bearing on the world’s largest defence contract—the IAF’s acquisition of 126 medium-range fighter aircraft worth over $10 billion where Russia’s MiG-35 is a low-cost option.