Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik announced yesterday that the government would soon be putting out a tender for 80 ab-initio trainer airplanes. The six airplanes shown above are understood to be the tentative contenders for the competition. An additional 80-100 are to be of a type (HTT-40) developed and manufactured independently by HAL. HAL has, incidentally, put out its own RFI to all the above airplanes’ manufacturers for a technical assistance/JV tie-up for the indigenous ab-initio trainer that will succeed the highly faulty HPT-32. For now, to the great consternation of the families of a lot of pilot cadets, an Air Vice Marshal of the Indian Air Force is studying the feasibility of conducting a quick stop-gap refurbishment of the HPT-32 fleet to push them for four-five years more.