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CCS to discuss Rs 1850 cr trainer aircraft proposal

 

MAYANK SINGH | New Delhi, January 16, 2012 10:18
Tags : trainer aircraft | iaf | ccs | HPT-32 trainer aircraft | Pilatus PC-7 |
 

Cabinet Committee on Security will be discussing the issue of Rs 1,850 crore trainer aircraft proposal which are to be procured from Switzerland. Top IAF sources said here that the CCS will take up the case in its next meeting which is scheduled for Thursday.

The aircrafts are being procured by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide training to IAF's rookie pilots and replace the HPT-32 trainer aircraft which have been grounded for over two years after a fatal accident happened during training in 2009. Over the past few years almost 20 IAF pilots have lost their lives.

The problem of the gap in training had occurred after the grounding of the HPT 32 fleet in 2009. After HPT was grounded the entire onus of basic training was shifted on the Kiran Mk 1 trainers that were earlier being used for stage two training. While, all 114 HPTs have been grounded, the IAF has just 96 Kiran Mk 1s in its inventory which is used for the first stage training.

The Swiss-made Pilatus PC-7 had emerged as the lowest bidder for the Indian Air Force's basic trainer aircraft tender which was announced by the then Air Chief,  Air Chief Marshal PV Naik in October 2011.

IAF has been managing training newly recruited pilots on HJT-16 Kirans and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.
This shortage of basic trainers has led to a cascading effect as the IAF had to disband its aerobatic flying team, the Suryakirans which was using Kirans and these aircraft were re-tasked for training. It also affected the training schedule, which got delayed this year.

Under the current tender, 75 trainers are to be procured from the vendor. Separately, a further 106 basic trainer aircrafts, named the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40, will be designed and manufactured by state-owned defence undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017