India is likely to order 106 Pilatus PC-7 basic trainer aircraft (BTA), valued at an approx $1.1 billion, of which most are expected to be produced indigenously, the Times of India reported today.
This comes after Hindustan Aeronautics' attempt to develop its own BTA called HTT-40 failed to convince the defense ministry. It would have been expensive than the existing Pilatus BTA inducted by IAF and it would have not met the timelines specified long ago, the daily reported.
The defense acquisitions council (DAC) is slated to consider the case for 106 additional Pilatus at the meeting to be chaired by Manohar Parrikar on Saturday, say sources.
One option is to buy 38 Pilatus off-the-shelf, with the rest 68 being produced by the 5 Base Repair Depot (BRD) of IAF at Sulur. Other options could include importing only 10 BTA, with 96 being made in India.