The call of Indian Air Chief Marshal chief Browne has been heard. A bit at least, since the government in New Delhi gave the green light on 28 February to purchase another 38 Swiss-designed Pilatus PC-7s basic trainers.
India already ordered 75 PC-7 Mark IIs, with about 60 delivered so far. Final delivery is planned for mid-2015. Chief Brown actually wants another 106 Pilatus aircraft, but the government favours the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited indigenous development of the HTT-40 training aircraft instead. This means the IAF will probably have to buy 68 or more HHT-40s its military leadership doesn’t want.
The Air Force does get a new Lockheed Martin C-130J (Super) Hercules, New Delhi confirmed. It is an attrition replacement for the Herc that crashed near Gwalior in March 2014. Additional airlift is on its way as the Indian government wants to engage in futher negotiations to purchase up to 56 Airbus C295 tactical airlifters to replace the aging Hawker Siddeley HS 748 transport aircraft. If the deal comes through 16 will be delivered directly by Airbus, the rest will be build under license by Tata in India.
Moreover, the Indian Ministry of Defence will start talks with Japan for a possible future delivery of up to 15 ShinMaywa US-2 large amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): Indian Air Force Pilatus PC-7 Mark IIs P-105 and P-106 on a test flight over the Swiss Alps on September 23, 2013. (Image © Pilatus Aircraft Ltd)