The Indian Air Force has signed a long-awaited deal worth approximately Rs2,900 crore with Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft Limited for the procurement of 75 Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainer aircraft to replace its grounded fleet of HAL-made HPT-32 aircraft following an air crash in 2009.
''Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is proud to announce that the Indian Air Force has entered today into a contract in excess of 500 million Swiss Francs to procure a fleet of 75 PC-7 MkII turboprop aircraft, together with an integrated ground based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package.'' the company said in a statement.
The deal also includes an option for extending the contract within three years from initial signature that Pilatus believes that ''will indeed be executed.''
Delivery of the aircraft is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Pilatus PC-7 is a turbo trainer, low-wing tandem seat aircraft capable of all basic training functions including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying. The modern, efficient and cost effective aircraft is the choice of over 30 countries for basic training of aircrew.
With this contract, the fleet of Pilatus trainers worldwide will extend to over 900, Pilatus said.