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Indian Air Force to acquire new trainer aircraft


A File Photo of HPT-32 aircraft

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Air Force said government had given clearance for acquiring new basic trainer aircraft for replacing its grounded fleet of HPT-32s.

"Replacements are definitely going to come as the Defence Acquisition Council has given us permission to go ahead and find a replacement for the HPT-32 and the acquisition process will follow," IAF vice Chief Air Marshal P K Barbora told reporters here on Tuesday.

Commenting on the present status of the HPT-32s, he said the aircraft was being tested at the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bangalore and the force will take a decision on its future after receiving test reports.

IAF has a fleet of around 100 HPT-32s, which were grounded due to a spate of accidents, which resulted in killing of various pilots and cadets. The basic trainer aircraft are used to train rookie pilots.

On IAF's interest in getting American C-17 transport aircraft, Barbora said, "IAF has been very keen on getting very heavy-lift aircraft based on our futuristic requirements and C-17 is one of them because there is no other aircraft in this category in the world. So, yes."

On the progress on BRAHMOS missile's integration on the Su-30MKI aircraft, he said IAF will be sending its aircraft for upgrade and a smaller air-launched version of the missile will be fitted on them.

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