HAL’s trainer Rs 4,500 crore cheaper than Swiss Pilatus trainer

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Daredevil, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    A looming test case will soon make clear how serious the defence ministry (MoD) is about its recently expressed intentions to end corruption in arms procurement by indigenizing defence production. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Bangalore-based public sector aircraft builder has challenged the IAF’s plan to purchase more Pilatus trainer aircraft by building a basic trainer aircraft, using its own funding.

    Of the IAF’s total requirement of 183 basic trainer aircraft, 75 PC-7 Mark II trainers have already been bought for Rs 2,900 crore from Swiss company, Pilatus. The first few Pilatus trainers have already been delivered and the IAF will begin training rookie pilots on the PC-7 Mark II this July. With the IAF’s immediate requirement met, HAL demands that the IAF buy 108 HTT-40 trainers to complete its fleet.

    This has led to a dramatic three-way face-off between the MoD, HAL and the IAF. The IAF insists that it needs more Pilatus trainers immediately and is pressing the MoD to exercise the options clause in the Pilatus contract for 37 more PC-7 Mark II trainers. HAL points out that Pilatus will complete delivery of the initial order for 75 trainers only in 2015. If the HTT-40 does not fly by then the options clause can be exercised then, bringing HAL’s order down to 71 aircraft.

    The MoD, which is the final arbiter, is caught in a cleft stick. Last year, as reported by Business Standard (Dec 19, 2012, “MoD rejects HAL’s proposal to build basic trainer”) the MoD chose the readily available Pilatus, saying that the HTT-40 was more expensive. But now, HAL has submitted a cheaper price bid. And with the MoD battered by allegations of corruption in overseas arms purchases, defence minister AK Antony is himself inclined to buy Indian.

    Meanwhile a pro-active HAL has committed Rs 40 crore of company money to develop the HTT-40, and is allocating another Rs 160 crore that will also pay for three flying prototypes. At the Aero India 2013 show in Bengaluru in February, HAL exhibited a full-scale model of the HTT-40 and an impressive team of young aeronautical designers, who were calmly confident that the HTT-40, rather than the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II was the future of basic flying training in India’s military.

    Prashantsingh Bhadoria, one of the HTT-40’s designers, told Business Standard that the HTT-40 would eventually cost Rs 35 crore per aircraft, including the cost of developing a weaponised variant. The 75 Pilatus that the IAF has already signed up for cost Rs 38.5 crore per aircraft. The HAL team at Aero India 2013 said that the HTT-40’s only two imported systems would be the engine and the ejection seat, which together cost Rs 6 crore.

    “It is easy to see what benefits India’s aerospace industry. The Rs 38.5 crore that we pay for each Pilatus PC-7 Mark II goes entirely to Swiss manufacturers. Of the Rs 34.5 crore that each HTT-40 will cost, India’s aerospace industry will get Rs 29 crore; only Rs 6 crore will go abroad,” says Bhadoria.

    A MoD rethink is underway. The ministry’s high-level Defence Procurement Group (DPG) has asked HAL to prepare a life cycle costing of the HTT-40, which is an estimation of what the trainer will cost to buy, operate, maintain, upgrade and overhaul during its estimated service lifespan of 30-40 years. Given that the HTT-40 will be built, maintained, overhauled and upgraded in HAL, the Pilatus will inevitably appear more expensive in a life cycle comparison.

    Top HAL sources tell Business Standard that the life cycle estimates make a fleet of 108 HTT-40’s trainers cheaper than a PC-7 Mark II fleet by Rs 4,500 crore.

    MoD officials say that the life cycle comparisons will be evaluated by the DPG and then taken before the ministry’s apex Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). If the DAC approves the project, HAL will get funding and IAF orders for up to 108 trainer aircraft.

    HAL has also proposed supplying the HTT-40 to the Indian Navy, which will eventually have more than 500 aircraft, including aircraft carrier based fighters. HAL is confident that the navy will eventually set up its own training establishment, instead of training naval pilots in IAF training facilities. This would provide an additional market for the HTT-40.

    HAL’s projections suggest that the HTT-40 will fly at 600 km per hour, reach an altitude of 10,000 metres, fly 3,000 km non-stop, and carry a 500-pound bomb or a mix of weaponry like guns, rockets and bombs. This would allow the HTT-40 to operate as a light strike aircraft, like the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6, which the US is considering for supply to the Afghan National Air Force.

    The HTT-40 and the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II are “Stage-1” trainers for rookie pilots, which will replace the obsolescent HPT-36. After basic training, fighter pilots will move on to “Stage-2” training on the Intermediate Jet Trainer, which HAL is developing. After that, pilots will graduate to “Stage-3” training on the Hawk advanced jet trainer. Only after that will they fly IAF frontline combat aircraft.

    Broadsword: HAL’s trainer pitted as Rs 4,500 crore cheaper than Swiss Pilatus trainer
     
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  3. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Good trend! Hope now Hawk purchases stop in favour of HAL HJT 39. This will also give us a homegrown CAS craft.

    :pray:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Indian Air Force’s first Pilatus PC-7 Mk II – Face Off!


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
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  5. sathya

    sathya Regular Member

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    since India is almost close to success with LCA, can definitely make basic trainer..
    IAF should be wise to believe that basic trainer has most chance of succeeding than any high fy aircraft..
    India needs basic trainer for future.. if we dont start.. we may have to imp[ort all the time..

    HAL should go ahead and export it to smaller countries..
     
  6. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Don't Want Or Need HAL's HTT-40 Trainer: IAF Chief

    http://livefist.blogspot.in/2013/02/dont-want-or-need-hals-htt-40-trainer.html

    =================== >>

    ---------------------------------------

    Conclusion : With no evidence about cost how IAF chief declared it would be too costly ? besides HTT-40 was meant to be the IAF work horse, Another Corruption scam..
     
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  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Seems like India looks like a honey pot flush with funds, and foreign liaison operatives have made good headway to be influential enough to get people in power to dictate terms in their favour. The Indian media is also very powerful. I hope another scam is exposed, and people put in place. Corruption has become endemic to the Indian national modus operandii.
     
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  8. vram

    vram Regular Member

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    But the fact is that Pilatus is a trainer that is available right now. Where as the HTT 40 might take couple of more year before it can be mass produced isn;t it??
    Unlike major fighters , trainers are something that is urgently needed by the rookie pilots.
    HERE more than the cost factor doesn't the TIME factor have more importane. IF we wait till HTT -40 comes online will it not result in safety compromise as well reduced training available to pilots there by affecting capacity of IAF...
    Also we have already recieved the Pilatus. So that operational capability is already available now...Till now all I have seen is just presentations and miniature models for HTT-40. not even a trail aircraft...
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
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  9. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    It's mentioned in the article.



     
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  10. vram

    vram Regular Member

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    Ok thanks for pointing it out dint clearly notice it .
    BUT when additional clauses are activated will we not have to pay the rate that is prevalent at that time ??? so if inflation and curency factored in the cost rises we might again pay a higher rate than the current batch IF THE HTT-40 becomes a flop show by 2015 or doesnt meet IAF parameters.
    So this is a call that the MOD will have to take I guess...\
    BUT it was very premature for the IAF chief to catogerically reject HAL's initiative. its after all not a very advanced jet fighter only a turbo prop.Should have been achievable by HAL easily. The attemp should be made.
     
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Quoting from this post: http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...er-than-swiss-pilatus-trainer.html#post715643

    It is rather simple to me. The Swiss should simply take the money and give the aircraft, and keep quiet. If they have to place conditions, then we should politely ask them to pack up and leave. If we are paying for the military hardware, it is none of their business whether we install armament on them or decide to use them as kites.
     
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  12. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    @venkat

    Any thoughts on this? Is HAL making tall promises or will they deliver?

    The last I remember HAL had quoted a price of Rs 60 Crores for this trainer versus a little over half this price for the Pilatus.

    How did they suddenly manage to bring that down by Rs 25 Crores? If the numbers reduce, price is expected to go up. So, what was "sacrificed" in exchange for this price reduction?

    You don't have to answer if you think you can't.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    W.r.t. emboldened question.

    We can answer that question only after we establish that anything was "sacrificed" at all, but thank you for raising this question. You won't leave any opportunity to put down indigenous products, would you?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  14. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Is your question "to the point" or you want your so called "beating around the bush" answers?

    Funny you don't believe anything is wrong if HAL suddenly decided to split their offer rate by half in just a year. Nobody in the world has claimed such a supernatural capability.

    How about you ignore me and I ignore you. Saves me the hassle of dealing with you while I continue my discussion with more relevant people.
     
  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Stop your BS, and read further:

    Quoting from Opening Post:

    So, HAL is investing money from its own kitty, which, it alternatively could have made up from the sales of its planes, thus raising the individual cost of each plane. This could answer you question - and perhaps, nothing is sacrificed at all.

    P.S.: I used the verb 'could,' which is a preterite. So don't come back saying I claimed so and so. Read, understand, and then respond.

    Finally, when you have some irrefutable evidence that anything was sacrificed, please share with us. I am not asking you to stop guessing and speculating. You have every right to do that. Thanks.
     
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  16. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    no dis respect to HAL but for me HAl is like a "Jack of all trades, master of none" why they don't stick to one project first and bloody finish it , the last time HAL built a trainer was 1977 and they keep on producing the same basic trainer with some modernization till date i mean till we grounded them that is around 2009. are they sleeping when the whole country including most of us talking about we need basic trainers bal bal blla .

    why now when we buy from swiss is it a wake up call for HAL. so for HAL it took 30 odd years to come up with a mock up. when most of the rookie pilots died because HAL didn't think in the first place to get a new trainer on time rather stick to general modifications on the old frame which was only useful temporarily, heck HAl didn't even think of joint collaboration in the last 30 years until we went for the swiss , really HAL !.
     
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  17. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Yeah right. They spent Rs 40 crore today and plan to spend Rs 160 Crore tomorrow and the price was suddenly brought down by 4500 Crores well after HAL acknowledges that the unit price of each of their jet is twice that of the Pilatus. Even with lifecycle costs, nobody can come down that low. Matter of fact, it is impossible unless a hundred other parameters and aspects are ignored. All these tall claims when the Pilatus, at half the unit cost, is being delivered while the HTT-40 has not even flown yet.

    Referring back to one of my earlier posts,
    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/indian-air-force/49806-more-trouble-mmrca-deal-7.html#post713880
    Heck it costs Rs 60 Crores even before first flight and you expect a claim like his is going to stick. You don't calculate lifecycle costs using paper design. You calculate lifecycle costs by putting the aircraft through its entire lifecycle. An estimate lifecycle cost is as good as an opinion. Meaning, it was pulled out of the arse and made to look good for the ignorant to lap it all up. If they are nationalistic, then the claims become words from the bible.

    It is people like me who question these figures. It doesn't matter which program, even foreign.

    So, this doesn't answer my question.

    Anyway, welcome to my ignore list.

    EDIT: Oh, great. Apparently I can't put you in my ignore list.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  18. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I saw a weakness in your original argument, and I poked a hole in it. The premise of your question was something was "sacrificed." I asked you to provide evidence when you have it.

    You are more than welcome to find flaws with my argument, and post it.

    Don't get excited and worked up. I have nothing against you personally, but I will attack your arguments if I see they are on flimsy grounds. Do return me the favour - you have every right to do that. This is a forum after all.
     
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  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    You won't find evidence of this so easily. That's why I posed the question to Venkat.

    When basic math doesn't add up, you simply don't believe the claim.

    You don't make an aircraft "estimated" to be twice the unit cost of the competitor and then claim you will have significantly lower lifecycle costs when the PC-7 has already crossed one million hours in the air.

    Also what is it that you understand by the term sacrifice? Costs calculations can be manipulated to show different values. It doesn't mean HAL will sacrifice one wing or half a tail. It could mean HAL may have decided to remove engine costs while comparing, the same what LM did with the F-35 to come to the $65 Million figure. Or even foreign labor costs added to the mix when comparing to Indian costs for the HTT. HAL won't have actual lifecycle costs of the PC-7, only MoD and IAF will know these costs. Their methods of calculation won't match with what they have "estimated" for the Pilatus while comparing it to the "estimates" of a non-existent HTT-40.

    Result:
    HAL will force MoD to make IAF wait for precious trainers. They will take their own sweet time to deliver. Heck they plan on having first flight in 2015 when all the PC-7s can be inducted before that, at 25 a year. Their costs claims are not realistic.

    They are comparing "what is" to "what will be." Experience shows the figures will jump many times from the time of conceptual stage to final delivery as has happened "many times" in the past. As a matter of fact, I should use the word "always" happened instead of "many times."

    More importantly, it doesn't matter how cheap HAL delivers the trainers for. IAF will end up having to pay for two basic trainers. And that will simply push total costs to unmanageable levels.

    HAL has a better chance with IN than making a case for IAF to buy a second trainer. In the end HAL is merely another corporate entity trying to make money in whatever way possible, even if it is at the cost of the gullible public who will be paying twice for training pilots in the same service without even knowing it.
     
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  20. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    if we consider time is an entity with monetary value then hjt is surely way more expensive than pilatus
     
  21. vram

    vram Regular Member

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    Here is the popular article which stated the MOD had rejected the HAL proposal. It appears from the tone in the article that they had compared some spec sheets and probable pricing information to arrive at the conclusion that the HAL trainer might have been costlier.
    MoD rejects HAL's proposal to build basic trainer | Business Standard

    BUT the fact on the ground remains that HTT-40 is not even built so we cannot arrive at a precise pricing conclusion. And keeping in mind the track record of non timely deliveries from HAL I don't think this is a wrong decision. The arguments of MOD seem to be very reasonable here. HTT-40 is definitely not a high critical or very stratergic asset to settle for a compromise in indigenous production right now.And the purchase has human value as rookie pilots will be doing thier basic learning in this and also making mistakes. A proven or tested platform from HAL is not readily available for the foreseeable future .Heck,,, HAL does not even have the product to show around.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013

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