The Ministry of Defence has signed agreements worth ₹9,900 crore with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for the procurement of 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft.

The Union Cabinet had on 1 March approved the procurement of 70 HTT-40 trainer aircraft from HAL at a cost of over ₹6,800 crore. The Cabinet had also cleared the signing of contract with L&T for the acquisition of three Cadet Training Ships from L&T, worth more than ₹3,100 crore under Buy (Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category.

'Buy (Indian-IDDM)' refers to the procurement of products from an Indian vendor that have been indigenously designed, developed and manufactured with a minimum of 50 per cent Indigenous Content (IC) on cost basis of the total contract value, as per the ministry.

According to the ministry, HTT-40 is a turboprop aircraft possessing good low-speed handling qualities and provides better training effectiveness. This fully aerobatic tandem seat turbo trainer has an air-conditioned cockpit, modern avionics, hot refuelling, running change over and zero-zero ejection seats.

The statement of the ministry, released on Tuesday, said the signing was done in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, along with other officials of the ministry, and representatives of HAL and Larsen and Toubro were also present during the signing.

The statement said the aircraft would meet the shortage of basic trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force for the training of newly-inducted pilots.

The procurement will include associated equipment and training aids including simulators. 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.

HTT-40 contains about 56 per cent indigenous content which will progressively increase to over 60 per cent through the indigenisation of major components and subsystems, the ministry added. The HAL would engage the domestic private industry, including MSMEs, in its supply chain.

The cadet training ships will cater to the training of officer cadets, including women, at sea after their basic training to meet the future requirements of the Indian Navy. The delivery of ships is scheduled to commence from 2026.

The ships would also provide training to cadets from friendly countries with the aim to strengthen diplomatic relations, according to the ministry. 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 ships will be indigenously designed, developed and constructed at Larsen and Toubro's shipyard in Kattupalli, Chennai. According to the statement, the project will generate employment of 22.5 lakh man-days over a period of four-and-half years.

(With Agency Inputs)