IAF awaits cabinet nod to buy Pilatus trainerNovember 18th, 2011 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Nov 18 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) is awaiting cabinet approval to buy the Swiss-made Pilatus PC-7 aircraft to train its rookie pilots, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne said Friday.
“The deal to buy the basic trainer has been cleared by the finance ministry and will go to the cabinet for approval by next week. We hope to sign the contract by mid-December,” Browne told reporters here.
The Swiss-made Pilatus Aircraft Ltd was the lowest bidder among the three firms short-listed to supply 75 turbo trainers to the IAF at an estimated cost of Rs.2,900 crore ($580 million).
“If we sign the contract by mid-December, we should be in a position to start the first basic trainer course of in two years,” Browne said on the margins of a conference on aerospace medicine.
Korean Aerospace KT-1 and American Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II were the other two bidders for the tender.
As the turboprop low-wing tandem-seat aircraft, Pilatus is capable of providing all basic training functions, including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying.
The Swiss vendor has sold about 500 aircraft over the past three decades to about 20 air forces worldwide.
The air force has been facing shortage of basic trainer after its fleet of 125 HPT-32 Deepak aircraft of the state-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was grounded in July 2009 following several crashes and engine failures.
The air force also plans to send some of its young pilots to Switzerland for training till the delivery of initial batch of 12 aircraft commence in 2013.
- IAF shortlists Swiss aircraft for training rookie pilots - Jun 16, 2011
- India signs $640-mn deal for 75 Pilatus trainers - May 24, 2012
- India clears $600-mn deal for air force trainers - May 10, 2012
- HPT-32 trainer aircraft flies into the sunset - Oct 19, 2011
- MiG crashes due to pilots' inexperience: IAF chief - Oct 08, 2011
- HPT-32 trainer claimed lives of 23 pilots: IAF chief - Oct 03, 2011
- New simulators for training air force pilots - May 09, 2012
- Surya Kiran aerobatics team to take to skies again - Oct 08, 2011
- Indian Air Force to evaluate Beechcraft T-6C trainer - Oct 08, 2010
- Another six months for 126 combat planes deal: Antony - Feb 17, 2012
- Accident-prone MiG-21 to be flown only by experienced pilots: IAF - Sep 01, 2011
- India set to decide major military aircraft deals - Jun 16, 2011
- India to buy 20 more Hawk jets for aerobatics team - Sep 14, 2012
- India to pick combat fighter by mid-December - Nov 18, 2011
- Training tableau theme even as IAF's basic trainer stays grounded - Jan 19, 2010
Tags: aerospace medicine, air forces, air marshal, air staff, anil kumar, behemoth, cabinet approval, cabinet nod, engine failures, finance ministry, hawker beechcraft, indian air force, initial batch, pilatus aircraft ltd, rs 2, seat aircraft, swiss vendor, three decades, turbo trainers, turboprop