Indian airforce buys PC-7 trainings aircrafts

Business is doing well for the aircrafts manufacturer Pilatus in Stans Nidwalden. It is about to close a deal for 55 planes with Saudi Arabia.

Bild: Keystone

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The contract worth CHF 500 million was signed on Thursday in India. According to Pilatus, apart from the planes it also incorporates simulators and maintenance equipment. The competition was tough and the Indian airforce had been very thorough in their evaluation but in the end the PC-7 Mk II had come out on top, Pilatus wrote. The start of the delivery is planned for the end of 2012. In addition to the 75 planes, the Indian airforce signed an optional contract regarding 30 more planes. In return, Pilatus has commited to an offset agreement in India of over 30 percent of the the contract's total sum.

Oscar Schwenk, head of Pilatus, told the Swiss News Agency that the company already had engineering work done in India. The Indian airforce needed 200 planes in total. If they order more from Pilatus, they would probably be assembled in India, Schwenk said.

Criticism on dealings with Saudi Arabia

He also confirmed that Pilatus was wrapping up negotiations with Saudi Arabia regarding the delivery of 55 PC-21 training aircrafts. Schwenk did not want to give any details, but he hopes that the contract would be signed in the next few days.

The deal with Saudi Arabia was reason for much criticism. On Thursday the Green Party and the Groupe Switzerland with no army (GSoA) demanded the Federla Council to stop the deal immediately, reminding them of the country's terrible human rights situation and the Saudi Arabian armee's actions against demonstrators in Bahrain and Yemen.

Simon Plüss, head of export control/arms at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), said that Seco made its decision on the grounds of a so-called plausibility examination. According to this, it would be highly unlikely for Pilatus planes to be used for counter-insurgency. On these grounds, the export had been given permission at the end of April. (sda)

Erstellt: 24.05.2012, 17:48 Uhr

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