Trainer planes, ships: MoD inks ₹10k cr deals | India News

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry on Tuesday inked contracts worth almost Rs 10,000 crore for 70 basic trainer aircraft (BTA) for the Air Force and three cadet training ships for the Navy, which were cleared by the cabinet committee on security on March 1.
The Rs 6,828 crore deal for 70 Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) aircraft was signed with defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics, in the presence of defence minister Rajnath Singh. The trainer aircraft, which have an indigenous content of around 56% at present, will be supplied to the IAF over the next six years.
The Rs 3,108 crore contract for the three cadet training ships, in turn, was inked with private sector major Larsen & Toubro. The ships will be designed and built at the L&T shipyard in Kattupalli (Tamil Nadu), with the first vessel slated for delivery in 2026.
The turbo-prop HTT-40s, which have “good low-speed handling qualities and provide better training effectiveness”, will address the existing shortage of BTA for rookie pilots in the IAF, an official said.
The IAF had earlier inducted 75 Swiss Pilatus BTA under a Rs 2,896 crore deal inked in May 2012. But the government later scrapped the case to acquire 38 more such planes after the Swiss company was found to have hired absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, as was then reported by TOI.
The three ships to be built by L&T will cater to the training of officer cadets, including women, at sea after their basic training to meet the future requirements of the Navy. The ships, which will also provide training to cadets from friendly countries, can also be deployed for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief along with evacuation of people.

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