Pilatus or HAL's trainer: Parrikar's first 'Make' decision

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    In his first television interview as defence minister, aired on November 14, Manohar Parrikar regretted the military's "craze for importing everything", including relatively low-tech weaponry that could be designed and built in India.

    "First priority has to be to identify (equipment) for Indian Make and then for the imports, wherever required," stated Parrikar.

    On Saturday, Parrikar's resolve will be tested at his first Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting, which clears high-value military procurements. The DAC will decide on the Indian Air Force (IAF) proposal for importing 38 Pilatus PC-7 Mark II basic trainer aircraft, even as Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) designs an Indian equivalent, the Hindustan Turbo Trainer - 40 (HTT-40).

    HAL credibly claims it can build the HTT-40 basic trainer, having demonstrated design skills on the far more sophisticated Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. The first HTT-40 will fly next year, says HAL.

    HAL presents the HTT-40 as a cheaper, better trainer than the PC-7 Mark II. It is built to Indian specifications, can be upgraded over its 30-year service life as technology advances, and maintained and overhauled more cheaply than a foreign trainer.

    HAL also says it can fit sensors and weapons on the HTT-40 to make it a "light attack aircraft", prohibited by the "end-use conditions"on foreign trainers like the Pilatus.

    Arming the HTT-40 would facilitate export to countries like Afghanistan, which desperately wants light attack aircraft to support Afghan soldiers combating the Taliban. Currently, Brazil is building 20 light trainers - the A-29 Super Tucano - for the Afghan Air Force, at American cost.

    The MoD acknowledges HAL's logic. On September 29, 2009, the ministry decided to procure the IAF's requirement of 181 basic trainers from two sources - 75 bought off-the-shelf from the global market so that IAF training could continue; while HAL would develop and build 106 HTT-40s under the "Make" procedure.

    The IAF, however, has consistently undermined this arrangement since May 24, 2012, when it signed a Swiss Francs 577 million (Rs 3,727 crore) contract with Pilatus for 75 trainers. As Business Standard reported (July 29, 2013, "Indian Air Force at war with Hindustan Aeronautics; wants to import, not build, a trainer") former IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, wrote to then defence minister, A K Antony, asking him to exercise an "Option Clause" in the contract with Pilatus to procure 38 more PC-7 Mk IIs; and then also buy the remaining 68 trainers from Pilatus as a "Repeat Procurement", which requires no trials.

    For Pilatus, that would have amounted to a windfall of some Swiss Francs 700-800 million (Rs 4,500-5,150 crore). For HAL, and for India, it would mean the doors being slammed on the indigenous HTT-40 project.

    Browne told Antony the HTT-40 was too expensive, claiming it would cost Rs 43.59 crore at 2011 prices. In contrast, said the IAF chief, a PC-7 Mark II costs only Rs 30 crore.

    Incredibly, the air chief deliberately understated the rupee cost of the PC-7 Mark II. In fact, its price of Swiss Francs 6.09 million amounted to Rs 40 crore, because of the depreciating rupee.

    With the MoD refusing to oblige Pilatus with an order for more trainers, the IAF then approached HAL to build the PC-7 Mark II with technology from Pilatus. HAL, which was making headway on the HTT-40, flatly rejected the IAF proposal.

    A rattled IAF then decided to go it alone. On October 8, 2013, Browne bizarrely stated that the IAF's base repair depots (BRDs) - which are meant to overhaul aircraft and engines - would build the PC-7 Mark II in partnership with Pilatus. The MoD simply ignored that proposal.

    Rebuffed, the IAF then looked towards the private sector. In March, with elections impending, the IAF floated a "Request for Information" - a pre-tender enquiry - inviting Indian companies to partner Pilatus and submit preliminary bids to supply the IAF with 106 PC-7 Mk II trainers. In the MoD's procurement rulebook, this is termed a "Buy & Make (Indian)" acquisition.

    In all this, the IAF apparently lost sight of the fact that the DAC had cleared two procurements in two separate categories -75 trainers in "Buy Global" and 106 in "Make Indian".

    Parrikar will make a far-reaching decision in Saturday's DAC meeting. Sanctioning the purchase of 38 more PC-7 Mark IIs from Pilatus will whittle down HAL's "Make" project from 106 HTT-40s to just 68, undermining the business case for an Indian production line.

    "Pilatus is waiting. If India exercises the option for 38 more PC-7 Mark II, the remaining 68 trainers will probably also be built in Switzerland. The HTT-40 project will suffer a mortal blow," says respected aviation expert, Pushpindar Singh.

    Pilatus or HAL's trainer: Parrikar's first 'Make' decision | Business Standard News
     
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  3. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The government will likely give preference to operational readiness and may approve 38 more trainers from Pilatus. HTT-40 is not yet ready.
    The government is walking a fine line between military's effectiveness and need for development of local industry.
     
  4. Rushil51

    Rushil51 Regular Member

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  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    The whole Pilatus saga was fixed even before putting the tender, When in competition Pilatus won because it was flying without Ejection seats and preformed better than others ...

    Above it, why we buying inferior models at higher price ..

    HTT-35, HTT-38 were canceled for this scam years ago and now they are trying the same with HTT-40 ..

    Some one made lot of money when IAF bought Pilatus ..
     
  6. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Kunal Biswas, you are right but HJT-36 has put a question mark on HAL. HTT-40 is not yet ready. It may take 2 years minimum before the plane is certified if things do not slip. My gut feeling is Pilatus order for 38 is likely. The minister may not have decided in this meeting but it may be decided in subsequent meetings.

    What happens after 38 more is up in the air. Ultimately HAL has to prove its products work. IAF is not going to let MOD buy a product which does not work. If HAL HTT-40 is certified, then further orders will go to HTT-40. But HTT-40 is not there today so we cannot compare Pilatus to HTT-40.

    I think MOD wants IAF onboard on bigger projects like Tejas and AMCA. So it will give some slack somewhere else.
     
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  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    HJT-36 is a complete different ball game and cannot be compare with Turbo-prop HTT-40 BTAs, Above that HJT-36 has Russian Influence in design which could be a cause of its failure ..

    The replacement for HPT-32 Deepak was undertaken years ago, But IAF rejected as stated reason is 'not needed' ..

    =================

    History of rejection >>

    [​IMG]

    The turboprop powered HTT-34 which was developed as a private venture by HAL. The 313kW (420shp) Allison 250-B17D powered HTT-34 flew for the first time, in a converted HTP-32 prototype form, on 17 June 1984. The new engine significantly boasted performance on the the basic aircraft, but was cancelled as official interest was not forthcoming.

    ---------

    [​IMG]

    HTT-35 advanced turboprop trainer, in particular its full-scale mock-up, which was designed and fabricated in-house by HAL in the late 1980s and rolled out in the early 1990s—all in all a four-year effort. The objective at that time was to team up with a global avionics supplier (most probably THALES) and co-design the semi-glass tandem cockpits and offer the aircraft for evaluation by the IAF by 1998. However, after 1994 the HTT-35 disappeared, literally!

    ---------

    [​IMG]

    HTT-40 aircraft project is a Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) proposal for an indigenous replacement for the Indian Air Force's retired HPT-32 Deepak as a basic trainer. IAF trying to kill it by using cheap shots such as claims of high price of HTT-40 based on outdated database to promote import, Changing parameters to push PC-7 Mark II than other competitors, eventually winning the contract..


    ===================
    ===================

    MoD backs indigenous HAL trainer, air force to visit HAL for discussions
    Writing to Defence Minister AK Antony, Browne asked him to scrap the indigenous trainer

    Source : MoD backs indigenous HAL trainer, air force to visit HAL for discussions | Business Standard

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

    1. IAF claims of high price of HTT-40 based on outdated database to promote import..

    2. IAF changing some parameters leading PC-7 Mark II into compliance with IAF requirements, eventually winning the contract..

    3. IAF purposefully rejected all National BTA projects since 1985..

    4. HPT-32 was deliberately grounded to make way for foreign trainers. Grounding the MiG-21 would not have led to import.

    Big per-planned Scam ..






     
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  8. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Kunal Biswas, MOD is onboard HTT-40. The plane has to be certified before orders can be placed. It was the same with LCA Tejas.

    The delivery of SP series from HAL is not inspiring. IAF needs to be given a batch of four SP series aircraft to form a squadron.

    The inability of HAL to fix HJT-36 problems shows the weakness of its design team as well as the management. This last minute desire for "foreign help" is not healthy.

    HAL's own design bureau is really struggling. This is why I am against merging ADA with HAL. ADA must be free to source from private aerospace companies.
     
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  9. sathya

    sathya Regular Member

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    Now that 75 pilatus ordered, extra time can be given for HAL to make BTA,
    Failing which further pilatus order can be given..

    Killing the project on whole is not good ..post pilatus we may need imports again..
     
  10. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    With 75 Pilatus in service, IAF can wait for HTT-40 to come in production.

    What is the hurry.

    For once an aircraft development project be given to IAF and allow HAL to pick holes in it.

    If IAF wish to assemble the new PIlatus aircraft in its workshop, go ahead and do it. Let HAL test it and pick holes in their work.
     
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  11. cobra commando

    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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  12. acetophenol

    acetophenol Regular Member

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    @Kunal Biswas: No matter what the past history is,Pilatus PC 7 flies whereas HAL HTT-40 does not. You won't deny IAF's urgent need for basic trainers,I hope. It won't make sense to have two different types of basic trainers either. IAF must be allowed to go ahead with PC 7,whereas HAL can go ahead with HTT 40 on their own,try their luck with the navy and exports.
     
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  13. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Must read article provided, From the source

     
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  14. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^

    All those culprits in this case in Ministry of Defence and IAF, all of them must go behind bars.

    Can new MoD help us to send them in jail....!
     
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  15. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Kunal Biswas, HAL wants to behave like a company (means it weighs profits and losses for any deal) while IAF wants HAL to function like a government department.

    There is a clear conflict of interest between HAL and IAF. This conflict of interests is causing all the problems.

    The logical thing is IAF should maintain Pilatus itself. Involving HAL in this deal makes no sense. IAF can outsource the maintenance to a private company.

    The parts will have to be bought for maintenance from specific vendors. That seems logical. It was a mistake to pay Pilatus so much money for so called MTOT. HAL has made the mistake of involving itself in a deal that makes no sense for it.
     
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  16. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    HAL is not ready with a trainer. Whatever the history- this is a fact.

    Another fact is that when you have the buyer by the balls you can dictate to him pretty much anything.

    Only solution in this case - grin and bear it and give a kick to HAL on it's back side to get the trainer ready in 2-3 years time frame. Realistically this is the only option in front of the Raksha Mantri.
     
  17. ersakthivel

    ersakthivel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why did the IAF reject HTT-34, 35 proposals from HAL?

    If they were accepted with full financial backing there would have been no Pliatus imports,

    during the UPA regime while imports were priority , filling up 2275 vacant posts in DRDO was not,

    DRDO Needs Revamping to Meet Defence Needs | idrw.org

    We can easily discern what kind of motivation the previous regime had from this single report.
     
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  18. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Swiss are famous for 'Swiss accounts' and their precious details also.
     
  19. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Gents, In War their is no place for blame games, War Resources and equipment has to be Indian made and design, At any cost ..
     
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  20. mehrotraprince

    mehrotraprince Regular Member

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    Purchase of Pilatus trainer aircraft deferred, future in limbo

    By Ajai Shukla
    Business Standard, 30th Nov 2014

    Last Saturday, the ministry of defence (MoD) postponed a decision on buying 106 PC-7 Mark II basic trainer aircraft from Swiss vendor, Pilatus, to supplement the fleet of 75 trainers already contracted for Swiss Francs 577 million (Rs 3,727 crore).

    The defence ministry was not convinced by the IAF’s reasons for abandoning a 2009 decision to buy 75 trainers from the international market in the “Buy Global” category; while Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) built 106 in the “Make Indian” category.

    Now more reasons are emerging for being cautious about buying additional Pilatus trainers. It is unclear whether the IAF has informed the MoD of these.

    With 53 PC-7 Mark II trainers already delivered and more on the way, Business Standard has learnt that Pilatus is shrugging off direct responsibility for their maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

    This after Pilatus charged the MoD 80.25 million Swiss Francs (Rs 515 crore) for maintenance knowhow to HAL in the contract signed on May 24, 2012. This so-called “Maintenance Transfer of Technology” (MToT) was to be formalised in a separate contract within three years.

    With just six months left for that deadline, there is no contract in sight, only uncertainty about how the PC-7 Mark II trainers will operate over decades.

    Pilatus has told HAL --- which will eventually maintain the PC-7 Mark II fleet through its service life after receiving maintenance technology --- to negotiate directly with sub-vendors for licenses to use and maintain their equipment.

    Pilatus only assembles and integrates the trainer, using sub-systems bought from global vendors. That means HAL will now have to seek licenses from sub-vendors that include Pratt & Whitney; Honeywell Aerospace; Rockwell Collins; Claverham and Ontic.

    Pilatus has flatly refused to be even a signatory to those licensing agreements.

    According to Pilatus, the PC-7 Mark II has 159 sub-assemblies, which are called “line replaceable units” or LRUs (e.g. the engine supplied by Pratt & Whitney). The MToT contract drafted by Pilatus covers just 65 LRUs. Pilatus says 72 LRUs are non-repairable, which should just be thrown away when they go bad. Seven more LRUs are the responsibility of the IAF; while the remaining 15 items are on various countries’ “export control lists” and would have to be stocked in advance.

    Pilatus wants HAL to negotiate individually with 29 global vendors that provide the 65 replaceable items. There is no telling what price they will demand. When Pilatus charged Swiss Francs 80.25 million for MToT, it did nothing to bind the sub-vendors to conform to this price.

    With foreign vendors confident that the IAF has nowhere else to go, they are negotiating for fees much higher than had been budgeted.

    Contacted for comments, Pilatus cited a confidentiality agreement with the MoD, but stated that, “suffice it to say that we are working on this diligently to achieve an acceptable outcome for the GOI and IAF. As Pilatus does not hold authority over the individual companies regarding licensing of other vendor IP rights, it is using its best endeavors to mediate between each company and HAL to reach an acceptable position.”

    A key vendor, Honeywell, admits it is in “active discussion with HAL on this program” for a “licensing arrangement”. Another vendor, Rockwell Collins, declined to comment.

    When the main contract was being negotiated, HAL had alerted the IAF to clearly list Pilatus’ maintenance responsibilities. However, with the IAF eager to seal the contract, Pilatus’s obligations remained vague.

    Now the IAF itself is passing the buck to HAL. In emailed comments, the IAF stated, “The MToT of Pilatus was negotiated at contract negotiation stage by a team of HAL specialists headed by a GM level officer… It will be a prudent to ask HAL as to why they have not signed the MToT contract with Pilatus.”

    Within six months of the contract, Pilatus made it clear it would assume minimal responsibilities. On November 30, 2012, a draft contract from Pilatus proposed to confine MToT to facilities set up by HAL.

    Pilatus repudiated responsibility for renewing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) licences, updating technical documents, software upgrades and maintenance of special tools and test equipment --- which are standard MToT components. For these India would require separate contracts at extra cost, over and above the 80.25 million Swiss Francs the main contract specified for MToT.

    Under Pilatus’ draft contract, India will have to pay for establishing maintenance facilities like the Engine Test Bed. Pilatus would only provide the design.

    According to established norms, aircraft acquisition contracts include aspects of maintenance, including details of initial repair kits, base spares, and licensing and escalation mechanisms for 30 years.
     
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  21. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    IAF diluted al least 12 benchmarks for trainer aircraft

    Retired Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi, former Indian Air Force (IAF) head, faces a Central Bureau of Investigation chargesheet for allegedly diluting a single specification of the VVIP helicopter that India was buying.

    In the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR), the helicopter’s service ceiling was lowered from 6,000 to 4,500 metres. This made the AW-101 helicopter eligible and its Anglo-Italian manufacturer, AgustaWestland, bagged the euro 556 million (Rs 4,377 crore) IAF contract for 12 helicopters.

    That violation, now under investigation, is dwarfed in the IAF’s purchase of the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II basic trainer aircraft (BTA), where at least 12 benchmarks were changed between March and October 2009, including some relating to pilot safety. These allowed the PC-7 Mark II, fielded by Swiss company Pilatus, to qualify and win an IAF order worth $640 million (Rs 3,780 crore) for 75 BTA.

    Business Standard is in possession of the documents relating to this case. Asked for comments, the IAF has chosen not to respond.

    The documents reveal that up to September 29, 2009, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was indigenously developing 181 BTA for the IAF, dubbed the Hindustan Turbo Trainer–40 (HTT–40). On March 5, 2009, IAF laid down stringent performance benchmarks, dubbed Preliminary Air Staff Qualitative Requirements or PSQR.

    These began getting diluted in September 2009, when the ministry of defence (MoD) permitted IAF to import 75 BTA through a global tender. Within days, the IAF issued a relaxed ASQR, in a document numbered ASQR 18/09. While the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II would not have met the earlier PSQR formulated for HAL, the new ASQR seem almost tailored for Pilatus.

    Among the 12 dilutions Business Standard has identified, the most worrisome is doing away with the requirement for a ‘zero-zero ejection seat’. This allows pilots to eject even from a stationary aircraft on the ground (zero altitude, zero speed). The October 2009 ASQR does not require a zero-zero ejection seat. Since the PC-7 Mk II has ‘zero-60’ ejection seats, i.e. the aircraft must be moving at 60 knots (110 kmph), dropping the earlier requirement made it eligible for the IAF contract.

    The PSQR of March 2009 required the BTA to have a pressurised cockpit, letting the trainee fly at altitudes above 15-20,000 feet. But the ASQR of October 2009 dispensed with this. The PC-7 Mark II has an unpressurised cockpit.

    Also diluted was the requirement for good external vision from the instructor’s rear cockpit, a crucial attribute in a BTA. The PSQR of March 2009 mandated a field of view of ‘minus eight degree vision’ for the rear cockpit. The ASQR of October 2009 dispensed with it, specifying only, “the rear cockpit should be sufficiently raised to allow safe flight instruction”. The PC-7 Mark II, which does not meet the eight-degree specification, became eligible.

    ‘Glide ratio’ is another important attribute for a light, single-engine aircraft. The glide ratio of 12:1 specified in the March 2009 PSQR meant the trainer could glide, in the event of an engine failure or shutdown, a distance of 12 km for every one km of altitude that it lost. Which would enable a BTA flying at an altitude of five km to glide for 60 km, landing safely at any airport within that distance. But the October 2009 ASQR relaxed the glide-ratio requirement to 10:1. That is precisely the glide-ratio of the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II.

    The ASQR of October 2009 also relaxed the requirement for ‘in-flight simulation’. This permits the instructor in the rear cockpit to electronically simulate instrument failures, training the rookie pilot to handle an emergency. The PSQR of March 2009 required this facility; the HTT-40 being developed by HAL also has these. The PC-7 Mark II does not and the relaxation of this condition made it eligible for the IAF tender.

    Other relaxations that made the Pilatus trainer eligible include increasing the take-off distance from 700 to 1,000 metres and reducing maximum speed from 475 kmph to 400 kmph.

    On Monday, this newspaper had reported (Indian Air Force at war with Hindustan Aeronautics; wants to import, not build, a trainer) about a personal letter earlier this month from Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, the present IAF chief, to Defence Minister A K Antony, asking for HAL’s trainer project to be scrapped and another 106 PC-7 Mark II trainers be imported from Pilatus, a purchase that will benefit the Swiss company by an estimated $800 million (Rs 4,750 crore).

    Browne’s involvement with the basic trainer dates back several years. From March 2007 to May 2009, he was Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS) at IAF headquarters, handling all acquisitions. Four months after he handed over to Air Marshal N V Tyagi (not to be confused with the former IAF chief, S P Tyagi), the IAF issued the ASQR, with the relaxations that benefited Pilatus.

    Asked for comments, N V Tyagi told Business Standard the PSQR of March 2009 set unrealistically high standards for HAL to meet. These were lowered in the October 2009 ASQR because the IAF was going for global procurement. Lower standards would bring in more vendors and generate competition.

    Says Tyagi, "The earlier PSQRs matched the performance of the Embraer Super Tucano, which many IAF officers considered a good trainer. But the IAF didn't believe that HAL could build such a trainer quickly. After a series of HPT-32 crashes (then the IAF’s basic trainer), it was decided in September 2009 to buy 75 basic trainers from the global market. Fresh QRs were framed in order to bring as many vendors as possible into the tender."

    The question remains — why were exacting standards set for a HAL-built trainer lowered when it came to an international purchase?
     
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