India has selected the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II to answer its requirement for a basic trainer. The procurement of the new aircraft was hastened by the grounding of the piston-powered HAL HPT-32 Deepak fleet in July 2009, following 17 crashes. While waiting for the new trainer to enter service, India’s pilots have begun their instruction in the jet-powered HAL Kiran Mk II or BAE Systems Hawk advanced trainers.
Indian Air Force
India’s growing helicopter market is fueling the need for helicopter MRO services, and Indian companies are stepping in to meet the demand.
India’s civil aviation authority, the DGCA, is considering grounding all Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Dhruvs until the airframe is modified around the intermediate gearbox (IGB) in the tail fin. In some helicopters, “cracks were observed on the rib bottom of the IGB [and an associated area],” according to a proposed airworthiness directive issued in March.
India’s civil aviation authority, the DGCA, is considering grounding all civil Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv light twin helicopters until the airframe is modified around the intermediate gearbox (IGB) in the tailfin. In some helicopters, “Cracks were observed on the rib bottom of the IGB and the associated area of the fin torsion box assembly,” according to a recently proposed Airworthiness Directive.
Bangalore, India-based Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying, a CAE-Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) training joint venture, received a simulator cockpit for the civil Dhruv light twin in February. It is now being integrated with an existing mission simulator and should be ready for training in May.
As India celebrated the centenary year of commercial aviation last month, the nationπs business aviation sector is poised for exponential growth fueled by the nation's expanding economy.
A decision in the long-running Indian medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition could come as early as September, according to Air Chief Marshall Pradeep Naik, an Indian air force commander. Naik told the press at the Aero India show in Bangalore that the price bids would soon be unsealed so that contract negotiations for the 120-aircraft order could start.
The recent Aero India show was a magnet for many international aerospace companies that are chasing various Indian procurements. In the airlift category, Lockheed Martin delivered the first of six C-130Js that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will use especially for the transport of special forces. The manufacturer signed a joint venture with Tata to produce C-130J airframe parts, amid suggestions that the IAF might buy another six Hercules.
India's indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA), the Tejas, was flown in formation at the Aero India show this month, with a two-seat version was on display in the static park. The Tejas MkI received initial operational clearance in January, and full operational clearance is due next year. Changes in weapons, sensors and avionics will be made according to Indian Air Force (IAF) requirements.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has an ambitious plan to design, develop and manufacture 1,500 helicopters in next 10 years. According to a senior HAL official, "100 of those will be advanced light helicopters (ALH), 300 will be light utility helicopters (LUH) and the rest will be multi-role helicopters (MRH)." HAL will invest $4.4 billion to modernize and expand its capacity to execute current orders worth $22 billion.