Indian defence companies have requested from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to extend the date of submission for a request for information (RFP) for the production of an additional 106 Pilatus PC-7 Mk II basic trainer aircraft.
Issued by the Indian MoD last month, the RFI seeks participation from local companies in the production of PC-7 Mark-II trainers under license from Pilatus in the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category, reported Flightglobal.
The ministry had already extended the final date for submission responses to 21 April, with an aim to issue the request for proposals (RFP) to shortlisted bidders.
According to the RFI terms, Pilatus should form a joint venture (JV), or establish a production arrangement with an Indian company to successfully execute the contract.
The contract covers delivery of 38 aircraft in ‘flyaway’ condition, with the remaining 68 to be licence-produced in India.
Meanwhile, Pilatus said in a statement that it is responding to requests from interested Indian companies who are in turn responding to the RFI.
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"It is our understanding that they have requested the extension; not Pilatus," the statement added.
Deliveries of the aircraft, which are included as options as part of an earlier 75-aircraft contract with Pilatus, will commence by 2015 to 2016, for planned completion by 2020 to 2021 timeframe.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has to date taken delivery of 35 PC-7 Mk IIs from the original contract, while the remaining 40 are scheduled to be handed over by August 2015.
Meanwhile, Pilatus is in talks with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the maintenance and transfer of technology contract for IAF’s PC-7 Mk II fleet, according to the news agency.
Developed from the piston-powered Pilatus P-3 aircraft, the PC-7 Mk II is a low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft, capable of supporting all basic training functions, including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying operations.
Image: A Malaysian Pilatus PC-7 Mk.II aircraft being displayed at LIMA 2009 at Langkawi Airport, Malaysia. Photo: courtesy of Rizuan (talk).