India To Exercise Options For 38 More Pilatus Trainers

The Indian Ministry of Defence has just approved the Indian Air Force’s move to exercise options on its original basic trainer deal (for 75 aircraft) with Pilatus Aircraft and will shortly sign up for 38 more. Of a total of 181 basic trainers the IAF has said it needs, the original Pilatus PC-7 Mk.2 order takes care of 75 aircraft.

The remaining 106 aircraft were to be HAL’s in-development HTT-40 propeller trainer that’s all set to take-off for the first time this month. With the IAF approved to exercise options on 38 more PC-7s, HAL’s platform will meet the remaining requirement: 68 aircraft. Indications are, however, that that number will be cranked up to make the project more viable in the near term.

An IAF-HAL-MoD committee is being set up to monitor the HTT-40 programme. The HTT-40 prototype is all set for its first flight in June.

15 thoughts on “India To Exercise Options For 38 More Pilatus Trainers”

  1. can you please tell me what are special features of Pilatus PC-7 Mk.2 which HAL/ ADA/ DRDO can not make in India ?

    or why Indian Engineers are unable to make such rudimentary looking aircraft's …… (I may be wrong !! but curious ….)

  2. LOLZZZ HAL HTT. Do you have any credibility left. Nation has lost faith in HAL. It's going to be folded up like HMT, ITI, NGEF, Mysore Lamps, Bangalore has lot of these PSU. HAL has to perform or perish

  3. Good decision. The show must go on.
    HAL needs to timelines to deliver its part. If it does not become a assembler & maintainance shop for Pilatus.

  4. More likely than HTT 40 the PC-7 numbers will be cranked up as HAL will miss one deadline after another in keeping with its glorious tradition.
    These peacemeal acquisiations of trainers will only make the whole acquisition more expensive.

  5. @anon at 8:29
    Will you buy a maruti Suzuki instead of an Honda if you have both options?
    These planes are not easy to make or research. Look at the issues with F35b. It takes at least 30-40 years to build this up. Hal can and will do this once Tejas is online.

    In fact why can't the Tejas mk1 serve as IJT?

  6. This is Bhadoria's last chance. Either perform or the reform will kick in drastically. Its a message to HAL: " you have take the nation for multiple rides. Now its time to deliver, otherwise your deliverance is in making".

  7. @Rituraj,

    What is the other option?? Continue to splurge billions on imported arms by keeping a nation of more than billion bhooka and nanga???
    What hasn't HAL delivered?? How many companies in the world, let alone in India have the capability to design and manufacture advanced choppers and jets?? We are a third world nation. And it's miracle for a PSU to deliver such hitech cutting edge technologies with extremely limited resources, talent and funds.

  8. When the first flight of HTT40 is just a couple of months away, why can't our IAF and Defense ministry wait for few months?? Even after manufacturers of PC7 creating post sales hiccups running into hundreds of million dollars, why is the Govt going ahead with 38 more PC7 planes? Why is the current government favoring imports over "made in India" while shedding crocodile tears over heavy arms import bill?
    Shiv, being a journalist aren't you supposed to raise such questions?

  9. HAL lobbied & has been given chance, they need to deliver.
    IAF being can set standards that need to be validated by certifications and tests. I just hope that phase is not acrimonious.
    It is partly Due to the standard set by IAF, LCA today a much better aircraft.

  10. Bhailog ,

    After years of wallowing in abject poverty , the IAF has two competent platforms – Hawk and Pilatus . This gives a tremendous boost to the confidence of the trainers and students and the country that its highly modern aircraft like SU 30 and later Rafale will be manned by its best and best trained . Any attempt to lower the standards either by HAL , Govt. , Media should be resisted tooth and nail by the IAF.The HTT-40 is a non issue and should be ignored as of now. HAL has to come clean on whether it can deliver on IJT otherwise we bury this also. Training should be looked at as a specialised activity and the curriculum and the tools should be segregated from normal operations – time is ripe for looking at modern platforms like Yak 130 /M -346 / KA 50 with extensive applications of these for point defense and light support also .

  11. @Anon 1.14 PM

    How many pieces of silver the arms lobby is paying you to post such tripe?? Which nation in the world favors imported weapons and planes over it's own home grown stuff?? Isn't this a mark of Mir Jafar? HAL has designed propeller and jet engined trainers from 1960s and 70s which the IAF had been flying without any complaint for last several decades. It's only in the last few years there is a desperate attempt by our IAF to become an imported air force of a nation which spends tens of billions on imported arms and ammunition by keeping more than half billion illiterate, malnourished and homeless. The nation cannot afford expensive imported toys for spoilt brats. Period. IAF and other non earning wings of the Govt has to make do with what the nation can afford.

  12. Can do with a lot of pieces of silver.

    You are right – but only if we were capable of producing and delivering quality products to our pilots . WE simply are bad engineers / project managers and cannot deliver consistent quality . So the imports .

  13. Jane bhi do yaron .

    Pilatus is here to stay .So pls junk this debate and request the HAL to concentrate all the tan,man,dhan on the Tejas. Let all the points be proven in that airspace .

  14. Arre HPT banaa nahi sakey thik se!! Itne Pilots ko maar diya! Kitna aur chance dein Bhai? Ab Bacche ki Jaan le hi chuke ho..Aur Kya kya logey HAL Bhai?

    HAL banat nahi sakat hai. Khareedo baaher se to gaali mile, kare to ka karen Logon? Band kar dein dukaan?

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