MoD sources say the HTT-40’s cost has been fixed at approximately Rs 50 crore, which means the acquisition cost of the entire fleet will come to about Rs 5,300 crore. The IAF was pushing for the acquisition of 38 more Pilatus PC-7 Mark II basic trainers from Switzerland, to supplement its existing fleet of 75 aircraft. However, HAL’s rapid success in developing the HTT-40 has ensured that the additional BTAs will all be Indian.
HAL sources say the HTT-40 is in the final stages of spin trials, the make-or-break capability demonstration for a basic trainer. Production planning for building the trainer is already underway.
On August 9, MoD had announced a phased, year-wise embargo on the import of 101 items of defence equipment, invoking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) initiative. "Our aim is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation," said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
"The estimated embargo list to enable estimated Rs 4 lakh crore worth of contracts would be placed to the domestic industry over the next five to seven years. This comes to average contract of Rs 57,000 crore to Rs 80,000 crore per annum. This would provide significant thrust to defence manufacturing companies in scaling up their production capabilities in long term," said analysts at ICICI Securities in a note dated August 10.