IAF in­ducts ba­sic trainer air­craft Pi­la­tus PC-7 MKII

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The In­dian Air Force’s (IAF’s) pre­mier Acad­emy lo­cated at Dundi­gal, Hyderabad, on May 31, 2013, wit­nessed the un­veil­ing of Pi­la­tus PC-7 MkII, by Min­is­ter of State for De­fence Ji­ten­dra Singh. Three PC-7 MkII air­craft got air­borne in a vic for­ma­tion led by Group Cap­tain R.S. Nand­ed­kar to put up a brief dis­play for the au­di­ence. This marked the first for­mal flight of the ba­sic trainer air­craft over the skies at the Air Force Acad­emy in Hyderabad. This was fol­lowed by hand­ing over of tech­ni­cal doc­u­ments of the air­craft by Air Com­modore Nagesh Kapoor, Chief In­struc­tor (Fly­ing) to Singh. Af­ter un­veil­ing the new ba­sic trainer air­craft, the Min­is­ter said, “The in­duc­tion of PC-7 MkII as ba­sic trainer air­craft in the In­dian Air Force is a very im­por­tant land­mark in our na­tion’s quest to mod­ernise its armed forces. As part of the on­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion, IAF is be­ing equipped with cut­tingedge tech­nol­ogy and state-of-the-art air­craft and sys­tems. How­ever, the need to train our ab ini­tio pi­lots on mod­ern train­ers is cru­cial to pre­pare them for the ex­act­ing re­quire­ments of com­bat fly­ing.

“With un­veil­ing of ba­sic trainer air­craft, we usher in a new era. Im­part­ing high qual­ity fly­ing train­ing to our bud­ding pi­lots will en­sure pro­fi­cient han­dling of more so­phis­ti­cated air­craft in their de­mand­ing roles. PC-7 MkII and its as­so­ci­ated train­ing in­fra­struc­ture com­pris­ing of sim­u­la­tors and train­ing mod­ules prom­ises higher safety stan­dards while de­vel­op­ing the crit­i­cal skills in mil­i­tary avi­a­tion. The air­craft, with its ex­cel­lent han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics, user-friendly on­board in­stru­men­ta­tion and mod­ern nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, is ide­ally suited for IAF’s train­ing re­quire­ments.

“On be­half of the govern­ment, I as­sure the na­tion that no ef­fort will be spared to equip IAF with the lat­est train­ing aids and in­fra­struc­ture. Funds will never be an im­ped­i­ment and to­day’s in­duc­tion is one such in­stance to prove this.”

Not­ing the in­duc­tion of PC-7 MkII as IAF’s ba­sic trainer air­craft to be a proud mo­ment, the Air Chief said, “This event is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in IAF’s trans­for­ma­tion into a mod­ern multi-spec­trum strate­gic force. It is my re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that our pi­lots and tech­ni­cians op­er­ate the best trainer in the world, the na­tion can af­ford. Pi­la­tus will prove to be the ideal plat­form that will train the ab ini­tio trainees about the nu­ances of ba­sic fly­ing and ex­pose them to mod­ern avion­ics and nav­i­ga­tion aids. This trainer will pro­vide a solid foun­da­tion and fa­cil­i­tate a seam­less tran­si­tion from ab ini­tio stage through in­ter­me­di­ate and ad­vanced stages into full-fledged op­er­a­tional fly­ing for all streams. I take this op­por­tu­nity to thank the govern­ment and in par­tic­u­lar the De­fence Min­is­ter for recog­nis­ing IAF’s ur­gent train­ing re­quire­ments and for ex­tend­ing a very prompt re­sponse to the same. A spe­cial men­tion of MoD for pro­vid­ing an ac­tive in­ter­face with all stake­hold­ers and fa­cil­i­tat­ing fruition of the pro­ject in record time.”

The PC-7 MkII air­craft would be used for ba­sic train­ing of all pi­lots of the IAF, in ad­di­tion to the pi­lots of the In­dian Navy and the Coast Guard. Till now, this role was per­formed by the re­li­able but age­ing work­horse, the HJT-16 Ki­ran air­craft. Ready to re­ceive the new ba­sic trainer that will bring in a much awaited au­gu­men­ta­tion of IAF’s train­ing ca­pac­ity, a com­pre­hen­sive in­fra­struc­ture up­grade is al­ready un­der way at the Air Force Acad­emy. A to­tal of 75 air­craft have been con­tracted from Pi­la­tus, Switzer­land. The pro­cure­ment of PC-7 MkII was ap­proved by the govern­ment in May 2012 and the first batch of PC-7 MkII ar­rived at the Acad­emy in Fe­bru­ary this year as part of an ac­cel­er­ated in­duc­tion plan. The first batch of Flight Cadets would start their train­ing on PC-7 MkII from July on­wards.

Also present on the oc­ca­sion were ser­vice and civil dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing Chief Sec­re­tary Andhra Pradesh Dr P.K. Mo­hanty, Ambassador of Switzer­land Li­nus Van Castel­mur and Air Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief, Train­ing Com­mand Air Mar­shal Ra­jin­der Singh.

Min­is­ter of State for De­fence Ji­ten­dra Singh along with Air Chief Mar­shal

N.A.K. Browne and other of­fi­cials af­ter in­duct­ing Pi­la­tus PC-7 MkII

Min­is­ter Singh re­cip­ro­cat­ing the sa­lute as he goes for a sor­tie in the PC-7 MkII with Air Com­modore Nagesh Kapoor at Dundi­gal

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