Pilatus PC-7 MK II, the Swiss turboprop trainer aircraft, inducted in Indian Air Force

Union Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh today officially inducted the basic trainer aircraft Pilatus, PC-7 MK II at the IAF training academy at Dundigal.
Friday, May 31, 2013

Hyderabad: The dignitaries present on the occasion included the Chief Secretary Andhra Pradesh P K Mohanty, Swiss ambassador Linus Van Castelmur and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command Air Marshal Rajinder Singh.

The first formal flight of the trainer aircraft at the Air Force academy was an air display of three PC-7 MK II led by Group Captain R S Nandedkar. Hon.Minister Jitendra Singh was also taken in a sortie. "The induction of PC-7 MK II as basic trainer aircraft into IAF is a very important landmark in our nation's quest to modernise armed forces," the minister said.

The Indian Air Force has entered into a contract with Pilatus of Switzerland last May for a value in excess of Rs.2800 crores 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. Considering the urgent requirement of IAF, 14 of these aircraft are already delivered on a fast track.

Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said that Pilatus would prove to be the ideal platform that would train ab-initio trainees about the nuances of basic flying while giving them an exposure to modern avionics and navigation aids. It would provide a solid foundation while facilitating a seamless transition from ab-initio stage through intermediate and advanced stages into full-fledged operational flying for all streams.

Browne also said that these aircrafts would remain with them for the next 30 to 40 years. They have signed a contract (deal for aircraft supply) in May last year and already have 12 aircraft. That by the time the first course is started in July, they would have 14 aircraft and by this year end, they would have 30 aircraft in the academy. All the 75 aircraft would be with them by the end of August, 2015.