November 21, 2017
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Trainer coffins
Pilatus deal: Need to introspect trainer purchase

Around late July the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was a mute spectator to the public spat over the acquisition of Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) Pilatus plane from Switzerland between the IAF headquarters and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Questions are being raised in the defence industry and aviation circles, if the MoD can lay the ground rules for acquisition of MMRCA under the DPP of the MoD why not the same guidelines were followed for acquiring the Pilatus.

Under the MMRCA deal, which clearly lays down the conditions in the RFP for acquiring the first 18 aircraft in fly away condition and the rest 106 to be manufactured in India either in partnership with HAL or with some other private company, why not the BTA was negotiated under the ‘Buy and Make’ rules of DPP so that the BTA supplier could have been obliged to manufacture the aircraft in India.

The IAF had initially proposed to acquire 181 BTA made by HAL and accordingly the draft Preliminary Staff Qual
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