India and South Korea are likely to discuss procurement of KT-1 jet trainers for the Indian Air Force during the South Korean President Moon-Jae-in’s visit to India on Monday.
Trainer aircraft ‘KT-1’ of Korean Aircraft Industries of South Korea could be considered for the Indian Air Force (IAF), as it was one of the shortlisted aircraft in 2011. The issue is likely to come up for discussion during delegation-level talks, Financial Express reported quoting unnamed sources as saying Friday.
India bought 75 PC-7 Mk II aircraft from Pilatus in 2012. The aircraft was chosen over American Beechcraft T-6C Texan II and the South Korean KT-1.
The IAF decided to purchase Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II after indigenous HTP-32 had been grounded due to repeated failures.
When the Manmohan Singh-led government had signed a `2,896-crore deal for 75 BTA with Pilatus Aircraft in May 2012, the competitors had red flagged the purchase. In 2016, the Ministry of Defence had started looking at the acquisition.
The IAF has an option to buy another 38 Pilatus PC-7 trainers. However, it is wary of Pilatus as the company is under investigation for alleged corrupt practices.
At present, the IAF’s training fleet includes home-grown Kiran Mark I and II basic trainers and British company BAE Systems’ advanced Hawk trainers. An order has been placed with Hindustan Aeronautics for a minimum of HTT-40 trainers.
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