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Defence Ministry inks Rs 6,800-cr contract with HAL to procure 70 basic trainer aircraft

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Defence Ministry on Tuesday sealed a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to procure 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft at a cost of over Rs 6,800 crore for the Indian Air Force.

The Ministry also finalised a contract with the Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) for acquisition of three cadet training ships worth over Rs 3,100 crore.

Both procurement proposals were cleared by the Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on March 1.

"The Ministry of Defence on March 7 signed contracts with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) for procurement of 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft and three cadet training ships respectively in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh," the Ministry said.

While HAL will provide 70 HTT-40 aircraft over a period of six years, the delivery of ships is scheduled to commence from 2026.

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, along with other senior civil and military officials of the Ministry, and representatives of the HAL and L&T were present at the contract signing ceremony.

The HTT-40 is a turboprop aircraft possessing good low speed handling qualities and provides better training effectiveness, according to the Ministry.

The HTT-40 contains approximately 56 per cent indigenous content which will progressively increase to over 60 per cent through indigenisation of major components and subsystems, officials said.

"The aircraft will meet the shortage of basic trainer aircraft of Indian Air Force for training of newly-inducted pilots. The procurement will include associated equipment and training aids including simulators," the Ministry said in a statement.

"Being an indigenous solution, the aircraft is configurable for upgrades to incorporate the futuristic requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. The aircraft will be supplied over a period of six years," it said.

It said that HAL would engage the domestic private industry, including MSMEs, in its supply chain. "The procurement has the potential to provide direct and indirect employment to thousands of people spread over more than 100 MSMEs," the Ministry said.

On the cadet training ships, the Ministry said they will cater to the training of officer cadets, including women, at sea after their basic training to meet the future requirements of Indian Navy. "The ships would also provide training to cadets from friendly countries with the aim to strengthen diplomatic relations," it said.

"The ships can also be deployed for evacuation of people from distress areas, Search and Rescue and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The delivery of ships is scheduled to commence from 2026," the Ministry said.

The ships will be indigenously designed, developed and constructed at L&T shipyard in Kattupalli, Chennai.

"The project will generate an employment of 22.5 lakh man-days over a period of four-and-half years. This will encourage active participation of Indian shipbuilding and associated industries, including MSMEs," the Ministry said.

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