Statement from Pilatus:
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Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is proud to announce that the Indian Air Force has entered today into a contract in excess of 500 Million Swiss Francs to procure a fleet of 75 PC-7 MkII turboprop aircraft, together with an integrated ground based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package. The contract also contains an option clause for extending the scope of this contract within three years from initial signature and we are optimistic that this will indeed be executed.
The Indian Air Force joins more than 30 other countries to modernise its training pipeline with the most modern, capable and cost effective system for Basic Flying Training on the market today. The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world with approximately 170,000 personnel and 1,500 aircraft operating from more than 60 air bases. This contract will extend the fleet of Pilatus turboprop trainers to more than 900 aircraft operating worldwide.
Delivery of the aircraft and the complete training system is scheduled to commence in Q4 2012. The decision to select the PC-7 MkII training system was made after a thorough evaluation by the Indian Air Force, which looked at all available options. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd views this contract for the Indian Air Force as a major success and believes it will encourage other forces to take a close look at our pilot training solution.
Coupled to this award will be the establishment of in-country depot level maintenance capabilities, which includes the required transfer of technology to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), enabling in-country maintenance of the platform throughout its service life of over 30 years. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was established in 1940 with the Government of India as primary shareholder, having approximately 35,000 employees based at eight sites across India.
Pilatus has also entered into a separate off-set contract with the Government of India for 30% of the value of this contract and we view this as a major opportunity. Pilatus has significant confidence in the Indian Defence market with its highly skilled workforce and it is our intention to leverage the offset opportunity to establish manufacturing capability for the region in support of our business plans for India.
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is committed to serving the Indian Air Force with its world renowned dedication to Swiss precision and quality, through delivering and supporting the most advanced Basic Flight Training turboprop trainer aircraft in the world – the Pilatus PC-7 MkII.