IAF receives 18 Pilatus trainer aircraft

New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received its initial batch of 18 Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainer aircraft, which has "received great performance ratings from trainees and instructors alike", the company said Wednesday.

"Within 15 months of contract signing, the record on-time deliveries of aircraft and logistic support material by Pilatus has enabled the Indian Air Force to complete induction of 18 aircraft as per the agreement. Further, a steady stream of additional aircraft is being added on a monthly basis and under the accelerated delivery schedule all 75 basic trainer aircraft are expected to be handed over to the Indian Air Force by mid-2015," a company statement said.

It said the induction of the aircraft "proceeded smoothly and due to Pilatus' unwavering commitment to match the performance of PC-7 MkII with timely deliveries, the first training course on the new aircraft is actually ahead of schedule", adding: "By the end of August, the fleet has already logged 3,000 flight hours with almost 5600 landings.

Despite the challenges of adverse weather conditions due to the onslaught of the monsoon, "the first solo flights were successfully completed within the initial three weeks of flight training. Summarising the first two months of training, the instructors and flight cadets at the Air Force Academy at Dundigal expressed immense satisfaction with the excellent, highly conducive teaching environment afforded by the new Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainer, which dramatically boosted the quality of instruction", the statement said.

Pilatus training systems (PC-7 MkII, PC-9 M and PC-21) are currently in successful operation with over 30 of the most renowned air forces around the globe.

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