The Indian Air Force (IAF) will acquire 75 basic trainer aircraft to replace its aging fleet of HPT-32s.

The initial acquisition of 75 aircraft will be part the air force’s plan to acquire a total of 181 basic trainers, according to PTI.

Defence Minister AK Antony said a request for proposals (RFP) had been floated for procuring the 75 basic trainer aircraft on multivendor basis and 106 aircraft will be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The RFP has been sent to Embraer (Tucano), Pilatus (PC-7 or PC-/9), Raytheon (T-6 Texan), Finmeccanica (M-311), Grob Aircraft Company (G-120TP), EADS PZL (PZL-130-TC-11 Orik) and Korea Aerospace Industries (KT-1).

These companies have to submit their proposals by 17 March 2010, following which, the IAF will technically evaluate the aircraft.

As per the RFP, the manufacturer will have to deliver the first 12 aircraft within 24 months of the contract, and deliver the remaining trainers subsequently in batches.

According to the RFP, the aircraft to be selected had to be recently certified, since the IAF plans to keep the trainer in its inventory for at least 30 years.

On 2 February, a pre-bidders conference was organised to discuss any clarifications regarding the procurement.

The IAF decided to ground its fleet of HPT-32 aircraft, following a fatal accident on 31 July 2009.