Swiss blogger BrunAir published a first look at India’s 1st Pilatus PC-7 MK II Trainer located at LSMU Buochs airport in Switzerland (46.974914 N, 8.399150 E). The picture was first reported to India watchers on 05OCT12 via Live Fist.
Pilatus has its aircraft factory located at Buochs airfield which makes this posting seem highly credible. In addition, most other aircraft enthusiasts provide additional photography of other countries Pilatus aircraft at the site.
According to the press release, “the IAF signed a contract worth 500 Million Swiss Francs (approx USD 538 million) with Switzerland’s Pilatus for 75 PC-7 Mk.2 aircraft which included an integrated ground based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package.”
In addition, the contract also contained an option for extending the scope of the contract within three years of the initial signature which may suggest ongoing business for Pilatus with the Indian defense market.
The IAF joins more than 30 other countries who use the Pilatus for modernising pilot training. According to the release, Pilatus has more than 900 aircraft operating worldwide.
Delivery of the aircraft and the complete training system is schedule to commence in Q4 2012. To continue reading the press release from 24MAY12 click here.