Oct 14, 2013

IAF to HAL: Build Swiss trainer aircraft, don't develop your own

Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief, has sugarcoated his bid to import 106 basic trainer aircraft from Pilatus Aircraft Co, by proposing that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) build the trainers in Bangalore to blueprints supplied by the Swiss company.
HAL, which is designing its own basic trainer for the IAF - the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) - has flatly rejected the proposal. The company has allocated Rs 130 crore of its own money to continue developing the HTT-40, which is projected to fly by 2015.
Last year, the IAF purchased 75 PC-7 Mark II trainers for 557 million Swiss Francs . Pilatus has delivered at least 15 of those trainers.
When the purchase of 75 trainers from the global market was approved in 2009, it was decided that HAL would simultaneously design and build 106 trainers. But, in July,the IAF chief wrote to Minister, savaging HAL's proposal and recommending this order be handed to Pilatus.

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