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IAF grounds HPT-32 trainer aircraft: Antony

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A File Photo of HPT-32 trainer aircraft.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The IAF has grounded the entire fleet of initial trainer aircraft HPT-32 after a serious crash on July, 2009.

"IAF has currently grounded its initial trainer HPT-32 aircraft's complete fleet following a serious accident on July 31 this year," Defence Minister A K Antony said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Monday.

AK Antony also added that IAF has lost 17 HPT-32s and 19 pilots till now in various mishaps. The recent July 31st crash led to the deaths of two instructor pilots near Hyderabad.

He also said that HAL has already begun a design work on the preliminary design patterns of the trainer aircraft.

At present, IAF has signed a contract worth Rs 2,701.70 crore in 2006 with the HAL for procuring 20 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

HAL HPT-32 Deepak is India's indigenous trainer aircraft manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. HPT-32 trainer is used for initial pilot training and other utility tasks.

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