The Indian Air Force (IAF) will go ahead with the acquisition of indigenous multirole Saras aircraft despite a recent crash that claimed the lives of three pilots.

The IAF is preparing to order 15 Saras aircraft to replace its 23-strong Dornier 228 fleet. The Indian Navy also plans to acquire the 14-seater aircraft, indiadefenseonline reports.

The multirole aircraft is capable of carrying a payload of up to 1,500kg and is fitted with two rear-mounted turbo-prop Pratt & Whitney engines.

The aircraft is for executive transport, light package carrier, remote sensing and aerial research service, coastguard, border patrolling, air ambulance and other community services.

The Bangalore state-owned National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) developed the first prototype of the aircraft.