India's defence ministry has given its approval for the nation's air force to acquire 75 ab initio trainers as off-the-shelf replacements for its Hindustan Aeronautics HPT-32s. The 125-strong fleet was grounded in August, after two air force instructors were killed in a crash.

An inquiry into the accident found that the aircraft's piston engine had run dry and cut out before the crash, and revealed that 90 such incidents had been recorded since the type's induction in 1984.

The air force is expected to soon issue a request for proposals to basic turboprop trainer manufacturers including Alenia Aermacchi, Embraer, Grob Aircraft, Korea Aerospace Industries and Pilatus.

Source: Flight International