By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — The maintenance contract for the Indian Air Force's 75 PC-7 Turbo Trainers will not be extended, according to a Ministry of Defence official.
The aircraft, manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland and acquired in 2012, was under a maintenance deal that expired in December 2016.
"The follow-on guarantee of further 36 months beyond December 2016 is not being cleared by MoD on grounds of steep price," the MoD official said.
The Swiss company was unavailable for comment, but an Indian Air Force official asserted that the Pilatus is not extending the contract because the MoD decided against buying additional PC-7 Turbo Trainers, "which were earlier agreed upon."
"Due to no maintenance contract, IAF is using its own resources and resorting to buying parts from the local market to maintain the Pilatus fleet," the Air Force official said.
The PC-7 trainers were purchased by the outgoing government despite opposition to the foreign purchase by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. HAL had wanted a contract for the HTT-40 basic trainer that it was developing.
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