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IAF procures 18 Pilatus PC-7 MkII aircraft

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Indian Air Force PC-7 MkII. Photo: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

SWITZERLAND (BNS): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has recently procured the first batch of 18 Pilatus PC-7 MkII which was handed over for basic training course not only well on schedule but has also received "great performance ratings from trainees and instructors alike", the company said on Wednesday.

Within fifteen months of contract signing, the record on-time deliveries of aircraft and logistic support material by Pilatus has enabled the Indian Air Force to complete induction of 18 aircraft as per the agreement, according to a news release by the company.

Further, a steady stream of additional aircraft is being added on a monthly basis and under the accelerated delivery schedule all 75 basic trainer aircraft are expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force by mid-2015, the report added.

India has awarded a contract worth over 500 million Swiss Francs (Rs. 2,800 crore) to Switzerland's Pilatus Aircraft to acquire 75 PC-7 MkII turboprop aircraft to train the IAF's newly-recruited pilots.

The contract, signed with the Swiss company, also includes an integrated ground based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package.

The contract also makes provision for transfer of technology to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which will maintain the trainer jets fleet for over 30 years.

The new fleet of Pilatus jets, which will replace the IAF's HPT-32 basic trainer aircraft that have long been grounded following a fatal air crash in 2009, will be used to train rookie pilots in the air force.

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