Sunday, June 23, 2024

Pilatus Aircraft completes delivery of 75 trainers to Indian Air Force

SwitzerlandSwitzerland company Pilatus Aircraft Ltd announced on Tuesday that it had completed delivery of the 75 th and last PC-7 Mark II basic trainer aircraft (BTA), purchased by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The last aircraft has been painted with a special commemorative livery.

On May 24, 2012, Pilatus and India’s defence ministry signed a Swiss franc 557 million (about Rs 4,000 crore) contract for 75 PC-7 Mark II BTAs. The first trainer was delivered in February 2013, and the entire delivery completed in 42 months.

Pilatus is now poised to receive another IAF order for 38 more Pilatus, estimated to be worth about Swiss francs 228 million (Rs 1,550 crore). This will be placed under the “options clause” of the initial contract, which grants India the right to procure, at the same price as the first 75 trainers, another 50 per cent of the initial order.


The defence ministry cleared this purchase in February, but cabinet sanction will be needed before actually signing the contract.Earlier, in 2011, the Korean defence minister had personally requested his Indian counterpart, A K Antony, for a “high-level review” of the selection of the Pilatus. The Koreans contended that their KT-1 trainer was distinctly cheaper over its service life.

Notwithstanding the controversy over its selection, Pilatus has pleased the IAF with its speed of delivery of the PC-7 Mark II. According to Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, “Since the first delivery in February 2013, the PC-7 Mk II fleet has flown more than 40,000 hours and accumulated well over 80,000 landings”.

IAF officers also talk up the reliability of the PC-7 Mark II. According to figures released today by Pilatus, “The PC-7 Mk II has enabled the IAF to increase the basic training syllabus in terms of flight hours by 220 per cent… and also increase the solo content from 1 to 14 sorties.”

Meanwhile, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is developing an indigenous BTA, the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40). This is expected to fly early in 2016 and, after two years of flight-testing, seventy HTT-40s will be built to bring the IAF basic trainer fleet to its sanctioned level of 181 aircraft.

IAF rookie pilots fly the propeller-driven Pilatus PC-7 Mark II (and they will fly the HTT-40 when it is ready) in Stage-1 training, the first of three training stages needed to graduate to frontline fighters. In Stage-2 training, they fly the Kiran trainer, which will eventually be replaced by the Sitara intermediate jet trainer (IJT), which HAL is developing. Finally, pilots do Stage-3 training on the Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT), which HAL builds under licence from BAE Systems.

If you would like to show your support for what we are doing, here's where to do it.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



Singapore’s new combat vehicle ready for production

Shephard News has reported that a new Singaporean combat vehicle is “ready for production”. According to the report, the latest member of the Singapore-based ST...