Following 19 fatal incidents the Indian Air Force has grounded its entire fleet of HPT-32 trainer aircraft.

The most recent involved the death of a pilot in July and in total there has been a loss of $3m (Rs16 crore) to the air force as 17 aircraft have been taken out of service.

Defence Minister AK Antony said that a court of inquiry is investigating each crash of the defence aircraft and remedial measures are undertaken accordingly.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) designed the HPT-32 aircraft, which is an ab initio, piston engine basic trainer aircraft with side-by-side seats.

The HAL Aircraft Research & Design Centre has already begun the preliminary design work on the turboprop trainer aircraft for the air force.

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