New Delhi: Russia has emerged the lowest bidder in the $3 billion tender for Indian Army's requirement of very short-range air defence missile system. Russia is now likely to bag the important deal.

In a meeting held with the three vendors, including Rosoboronexport of Russia, Saab of Sweden and MBDA of France, the Russian system IGLA-S was declared the lowest bidder, which means that they would be offered the contract to supply the systems to the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

Sources in the government said the French side had been raising issues in the matter for the last several months. France, the sources said, had done so in the meeting held on Monday as well. This was about the selection of the Russian vendor by the defence ministry.

However, the sources added, the defence procurement procedure has been followed perfectly as per the laid down rules by the defence ministry while taking a final decision on the lowest bidder.

India needs over 1,000 of these missile systems, which are carried by the soldiers on shoulders. These systems can take out enemy aircraft in no time.

This is the second most important missile deal bagged by Russia in the past few months. As recently as in October, India had awarded Russia the contract for buying five regiments of S-400 air defence missile systems with the capability of downing enemy planes and missiles at a distance of around 400 km.