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IAF completes negotiations for trainer aircraft

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An unrelated photo of PC-21 next-gen trainer aircraft. Photo by Pilatus Aircraft

NEW DELHI (PTI): Moving ahead with the procurement of 75 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defence Ministry has completed negotiations with Swiss company Pilatus, which emerged as the lowest bidder in the USD 1 billion deal.

"The negotiations with Pilatus have already been completed on the basis of valid commercial offer submitted by the Swiss company," Defence Ministry officials said here.

They further added that following Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) norms, the Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) report is progressing for approval by the competent financial authority.

Besides Pilatus, US firm Hawker-Beechcraft and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) from South Korea had pitched for the deal.

The bid will fulfill IAF's need for a basic jet trainer after the fleet of HPT-32 basic trainers was grounded in 2009, following an air crash which raised concerns over its safety features.

"Presently the cadets are trained on Kiran trainer aircraft, which are actually meant for second level of flight training," the officials added.

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