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India is considering buying military aircraft

India can purchase and produce 106 Swiss Pilatus PC-7 training aircraft for the training of the Indian Air Force pilots, yesterday reported the publication Times of India.

The final decision will be made at a meeting of the Defense Purchases Board (DAC) under the leadership of the new Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday. The project cost is estimated at 70 billion rupees (more than 1,1 billion dollars).

The decision is made after the attempt of the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to develop its own training aircraft HTT-40 failed: the Ministry of Defense rejected the aircraft because of its higher cost and because the developers could not meet the deadlines.

At the same time, India can only buy 38 ready aircraft, while another 68 can be produced at the Indian Air Force base in Sulure in the state of Tamil Nadu in the south of the country. Another option involves the purchase of all 10 machines, while 96 will be produced in India.

In September 2009, the Defense Procurement Board approved the purchase of 75 training aircraft in the foreign market, and another 106 aircraft was planned to be manufactured in India to bring the total number of such aircraft to 181. Then in May 2012 India signed a contract for the purchase of 75 Pilatus PC-7 machines worth 28,96 billion rupees (almost half a billion dollars). Since then, the Indian Air Force has received 53 training aircraft.

The urgent acquisition of Pilatus aircraft for the Indian Air Force took after the flight training schedule for young pilots was violated in August 2009. The cause of this was the crash of one of the HPT-32 aircraft, the pilot was killed, after which flights of all training aircraft of this type were suspended.

Since 1970, there have been more than 1100 plane crashes involving Indian Air Force aircraft. More than 39% of accidents occurred due to "crew error", the second of the most common reasons - "technical defects" caused by wear and tear of cars and poor maintenance.

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