The Indian Air Force (IAF) is on the lookout for leasing of at least 20 basic trainer aircraft for training pilots. A Request for Information (RFI) in this regard has already been sent out to global vendors earlier this month. The RFI envisages that Indian companies will be preferred for the contract. It specifies that the IAF needs a trainer that can undertake four to six sorties a day for intensive training of pilots. It also requires the leasing company to maintain the aircraft during the duration of service and provide a simulator for pilots as well. The leased aircraft is expected to fill the gap of 3-4 years to the least and can further be expanded for 2 more years.
At present, the IAF is facing a shortage of basic and intermediate trainers. There are around 260 trainer aircraft in service for training of pilots, besides 14 helicopters and 26 Dornier and 16 An-32 aircraft for transport pilots.