India approves purchase of 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft

NEW DELHI — India’s top decision-maker on defense matters has endorsed the purchase of 70 locally made HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft for $388.5 million.

Defence Minister Rajnath Sigh tweeted on Wednesday that the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the procurement plan.

The government will sign a contract for the HTT-40 aircraft later this month, the Ministry of Defence told Defense News.

The new aircraft will complement the existing basic training fleet of Swiss-made PC-12 Mark II basic trainers with the Indian Air Force. The service currently operates 260 trainer aircraft — a combination of basic and advanced trainers — against the requirement for 388.