Switzerland’s Pilatus Aircraft Limited plans to set up an airframe manufacturing facility in India for its PC-12 nine-seater passenger and cargo plane, the company’s vice-president and deputy CEO Jim Roche said here on Friday. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the induction ceremony of Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II into the Indian Air Force (IAF) here, Mr. Roche said the proposed facility would form a major portion of the collaboration with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under the offset provision of the Rs.3,500 crore-contract for supplying 75 PC-7MK-II aircraft.

The Indian unit for PC-12 would be the third supporting facility of the company, the other two being in Poland and Portugal, Mr. Roche said.

He said the PC-12 was ideally suited for India, with utility for companies, NGOs, as an air-ambulance and also for evacuation and disaster relief. Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne told reporters that the PC-7 had good safety features and was a modern aircraft.

On a question on new acquisitions, he said that commercial negotiations with EADS were expected to be finalised by the year-end for acquiring flight-refuelling aircraft A-330 MRTT for the IAF. Another important event for IAF would be the arrival of the first of the 10 C-17 heavy-lift strategic aircraft in June this year.

He said the government had sanctioned 20 Hawk aircraft and the IAF’s aerobatic team Suryakiran would be revived after the acquisition of the aircraft. Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said the proposed Defence Procurement Policy-2013 would be a historic step for Indian industry in creating an environment for enhanced defence production.

India is a large market and we’re looking to expand our operations here in aircraft productionJim Rochedeputy CEO, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd

The proposed Defence Procurement Policy-2013 will be a historic step for the Indian defence production industryJitendra SinghMoS, Defence

Negotiations on C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft and MMRCA deal will be over by October-NovemberN.A.K. BrowneAir Chief Marshal, IAF