As part of its offset agreement related to a purchase by India’s air force, Pilatus Aircraft has signed a 10-year contract with Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) for the Indian company to supply aerostructures for the PC-12 NG utility turboprop single. Tata will replace existing supplier PZL-Swidnik of Poland. This is India’s first major private partnership, and results from the 30-percent offset obligation (worth about $165 million) that Pilatus incurred in its sale of 75 PC-7 Mk II trainers and associated systems to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The PC-7 contract also requires Pilatus to cooperate with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in creating a depot-level maintenance facility for the aircraft.
TASL will produce PC-12 wings, fuselages, ailerons and flaps at its existing facility in Hyderabad. The first ship sets are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2016.
Since induction of the first PC-7 Mk II early last year, “the IAF has achieved more than 15,000 flying hours and accumulated more than 27,000 landings,” Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, told AIN. Already, 45 of the 75 have been delivered. The final delivery will be made by the mifddle of next year. The order, worth approximately $497 million, was signed in 2012 after HAL failed to deliver its Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) to replace the IAF’s obsolete piston-engine HAL HPT-32s.
A request for information (RFI) for an additional 106 basic trainers has been released. A source told AIN that Pilatus is the front-runner to supply more PC-7 Mk IIs, since the IAF has expressed satisfaction with the aircraft.