Bengaluru, June 17: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who is in Bengaluru told reporters that both the government and the Indian Airforce have confidence in the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
He was at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore today to witness the first test flight of Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40), country's indigenous basic trainer aircraft.
The minister also entered the cockpit of the aircraft to have a closer look and later said that he was extremely impressed.
Confidence in HAL:
When a reporter asked the defence minister as to why this project had been delayed, he said that there were some issues in the past. It was pointed out to him that the IAF had refused this aircraft.
However, Parrikar showed the press a bottle of water in his hand and said that it was pure. Showing the clear colour of the water in it, he said today everything is clear. The government and the IAF have full faith in the HAL.
It depends on how the bureaucracy is handled he said. The bureaucracy will perform exactly like the government, he said while taking an obvious dig at the earlier government [HTT-40 has the full backing of IAF: Manohar Parriakar]
On the Raphael deal, the minister said that discussions are still on. I will soon get the report on this from our side. The matter will be taken forward based on that, he also said.
On the Kashmir issue, Parrikar showered praises on the intelligence bureau. He said that the IB has done a very good job in identifying terrorists. There are several encounters that take place today and this is because the terrorists are being identified he said.
He also said that in the past few months the number of casualties involving the Indian army personnel has drastically come down. This is because the coordination is very good and the Intelligence Bureau had been picking up information on the location of the terrorists.
This aircraft would be used for the first stage training for all flying cadets of the three services. The IAF will procure 70 of these aircrafts HAL has said that the programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018.
It is also proposed to introduce weapons to this aircraft. The aircraft weighs 2,800 kilograms and has a turbo prop engine of 950 shp class.