Geneva, June 19:Switzerland's aviation giant Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is set to enter into the biggest contract yet for supplying 75 basic trainer aircraft at a cost of about USD 1 billion to the Indian Air Force, a report has said.
The Swiss company hopes to sign the contract soon, with the first consignment of 12 aircraft to be delivered in 24 months, said Swiss economic daily Le Temp.
Following the government's decision to ground HP-32 Deepak, manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the Indian Airforce is understood to have pressed for an immediate replacement.India had called for offers for trainer aircraft in 2009 and subsequently short listed three- Pilatus, another trainer from the United States and a third from South Korea.
But Pilatus declined to comment on the report.
The company supplied over 500 trainer aircraft largely to countries in the Middle East.