The Indian Air Force (IAF) is exploring the possibility of sourcing spares and components for its basic trainers from Pilatus Aircraft Limited even as the government has suspended business dealings with the Swiss planemaker for a year, two officials said on the condition of anonymity on Sunday.
The dealings were put on hold earlier this month after the firm was found to have violated an integrity pact in an earlier ~2,900-crore contract for 75 planes and also because of an ongoing investigation against the aircraft maker for alleged corruption and irregularities.
“It is a fact that Pilatus has been banned for a year. It is also a fact that we need spares and components for our Pilatus PC-7 MkII fleet. A 2014 government order provides for continuing business with such firms to avoid a crisis of spares. We plan to take that route and renegotiate with Pilatus as the follow-on maintenance contract has not been signed,” said one of the officials cited above.
Similar bans on Italian defence conglomerate Finmeccanica (now Leonardo) and British engineering giant Rolls-Royce in the past did not affect the supply of spares or after sales support, said the second official. (end of excerpt)
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