The Swiss Pilatus PC-7 Trainer aircraft may turn out to be the aircraft of choice for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in its global tender for basic trainer aircraft. According to reports, two other models, the Korean Aerospace KT-1 and the Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II make up the final short list of three aircraft out of the six models which participated in flight trials last year.
The Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer is a low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft, manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The aircraft is capable of all basic training functions including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying.
It has been selected by more than twenty air forces as their ab initio trainer.
According to defence sources, the technical evaluation round came to an end in May this year. Financial evaluation commenced soon thereafter and the Pilatus PCT has apparently offered the lowest bid amongst the three.
There were originally six contenders in the fray: Grob G-120 TP, Embraer's EMB-312 Super Tucano, Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1, Finmeccanica's M-311, Beechcraft T-6C and Pilatus PC-7.
These were amongst a dozen companies sent a request for proposal (RfP) by the IAF.