Not that this will even fractionally appease an embittered US Government, still seriously pissed off after the recent M-MRCA fighter elimination, an American-built aircraft is understood to have emerged tops in technical and flight evaluations of India’s effort to procure primary trainer aircraft. I hear that the Hawker Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II (in IAF colours above) is on top of the list of five basic trainer aircraft that were put through field trials during October-December last year as part of the Indian Air Force’s competition for 181 (75+106) aircraft. The Ministry of Defence received the IAF’s trial report recommendations in February this year. The IAF desperately needs a new Stage-1 trainer fleet to replace its troubled and old HPT-32 Deepaks. Sources say this contract will be awarded before the year is out.
While there is no official confirmation from the MoD or the IAF, sources also suggest that the German Grob 120TP and the EADS PZL-130 Orlik TC-II were eliminated in a post-trial downselect. The Texan-II, the Korean Aerospace KT-1 and Pilatus PC-21 are understood to be in the finals now.