“33” pib.nic.in pib.mod.

in PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (DEFENCE WING) GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ***** PROCUREMENT OF BASIC TRAINER AIRCRAFT FOR THE INDIAN AIR FORCE New Delhi : 30 JUL 2013 1. In two recent reports, by ceratin section of the media, facts have been misrepresented with respect to procurement of Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) with an intent to mislead public opinion and create a wedge between Ministry of Defence (MoD), IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The facts related to the procurement of the BTA for the IAF are elucidated in the succeeding paragraphs. 2. IAF initiated a case for procurement of 181 BTA as ‘Make by HAL’. Accordingly, Draft Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) were provided to HAL on 06 February 2008. After numerous discussions between IAF and HAL, the PSQRs were finalised mutually and issued on 05 March 2009. 3. After a fatal accident of HPT-32 in May 2009 leading to the grounding of the HPT-32 fleet, IAF proposed to procure 75 BTA immediately from the Global market to fill the void in basic flying training. The balance 106 BTA were to be indigenously designed and developed by HAL. 4. Accordingly, the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) for BTA (Buy) were prepared in accordance with paragraphs 13 to 16 of Chapter I of the DPP and ratified by Service Equipment Policy Committee (SEPC) in October 2009. Immediately after the ASQR were finalised for BTA (Buy) case, the PSQR issued to HAL earlier in March 2009 were revised to align them with the ASQR for BTA (Buy). The amended ‘PSQR’ after ratification by SEPC on 01 December 2009 were issued to HAL. HAL has submitted its first DPR in September 2010 based on the Amended PSQR. Therefore, as on date, PSQR and ASQR are similar. 5. PSQR are formulated for 'Make' Category in accordance with Chapter II of the DPP whereas ASQR are formulated in accordance with Chapter I of the DPP. The major difference between PSQR and ASQR is that PSQR includes both ‘Essential’ and ‘Desirable’ parameters whereas ASQR includes only ‘Essential’ parameters. PSQR are Preliminary SQR and, therefore, are provisional and subject to review/change during the development process. The desirable parameters are based on futuristic/emerging technologies whereas the essential parameters are to be of proven state of art technology available in India/ World market. The ‘Essential’ parameters are frozen later in the Preliminary Design phase and ratified by SEPC.

6. In contrast, ASQR are formulated for 'Buy' category and include only ‘Essential’ parameters and cannot be reviewed/changed once the RFP is issued. It is for this reason that the DPP provides an elaborate procedure at Para 14 of Chapter I for formulation of ASQR in Buy cases which mandates that broad based ASQR be made based on inputs obtained through RFI so as to ensure maximum participation in a multivendor situation and thus avoiding a single vendor situation. 7. The ASQR were ratified by SEPC on 09 October 2009. Thereafter, the amended PSQR aligned with the ASQR was issued to HAL on 01 December 2009. The RFP for BTA was issued to 12 vendors on 16 December 2009. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AON) for HAL to go ahead with the indigenous design and development of 106 BTA on 01 February 2010. There was no difference between the PSQR and ASQR since 01 December 2009. Therefore, all attempts by the author to bring out differences between the PSQR and ASQR are with malafide intent due to vested interests. 8. The RFP for BTA (Buy) was issued to 12 vendors of which nine responded but two vendors were disqualified due to non submission of Integrity Pact and incomplete proposals. The fact that of the balance seven vendors, five cleared the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) and three cleared the Field Evaluation Trials (FET) after meeting all ASQR is a proof that ASQR were broad based and not pointed towards any specific vendor/product. It needs to be noted that the RFP for BTA received maximum responses generating the largest competition in aircraft procurement in recent history, wherein M/s Pilatus was one of the three vendors who met all ASQR and thereafter, during the CNC stage emerged as the L 1 vendor on the basis of their commercial offer. 9. The earlier PSQR for 0-0 ejection seat for BTA (Make) was formulated in consultation with HAL. However, both the ASQR and the current PSQR stipulate “The aircraft should be fitted with an ejection seat” . The RFI responses for BTA (Buy) indicated that only two BTA were available in the World market with 0-0 ejection seat. Therefore, retaining the ASQR of 0-0 ejection seat would have narrowed the competition to only two vendors. Based on RFI response, the ASQR read “The aircraft should be fitted with an ejection seat”, this ensured that more than seven vendors remained in the competition. Therefore, this is an attempt to highlight a non-existent issue with malafide intent due to vested interests. 10. Both the ASQR and current PSQR do not stipulate a requirement for ‘Cockpit Pressurisation’. Pressurisation of the cockpit for BTA, which has a service ceiling of 6 km, was never an IAF requirement. HAL in their Preliminary Project Report (PPR) on HTT-40 in January 2008 had stated that “The option of cabin pressurisation will also be looked into during the detailed design stage”. Accordingly, the ‘Cockpit Pressurisation’ was included as a 'Desirable' parameter in the earlier PSQR. Even the HTT-40 under the BTA (Make) does not have ‘Cockpit Pressurisation’. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) on HTT-40 submitted by HAL in September 2010 did not include ‘Cockpit Pressurisation’, which was accepted by IPMT and approved by the Director General (Acquisition).

11. Both the ASQR and PSQR have identical External Vision Criteria. The earlier PSQR was made for a tandem seating BTA; therefore, it included the requirement for external vision from rear cockpit of - 8 degrees. From RFI responses it emerged that the World market has BTA with both ‘Tandem’ and ‘Side by Side’ seating. Accordingly, the ASQR stipulated that "The external vision requirement should be in accordance with the relevant specification. Additionally, for a tandem cockpit design, the rear cockpit should be sufficiently raised to allow safe flight instructions from the rear cockpit by day and night.” In case of the PC-7 Mk ll, the rear cockpit is sufficiently raised to give a -10 degrees vision over the aircraft nose and is not 0 degrees as has been falsely alleged in the news article. 12. Both ASQR and the current PSQR specify that “The aircraft should have a glide ratio better than 10:1”. The glide ratio of the PC-7 Mk II is in excess of 12:1 and not 10:1 as falsely alleged in the news article. 13. Both ASQR and the current PSQR do not specify any requirement for InFlight Simulation. RFI responses did not explicitly bring out compliance to this requirement hence retaining this parameter could have led to disqualification of certain contenders for a desirable parameter. This requirement could be met using the Fixed Base Full Mission Simulators which were also being acquired and hence this requirement of a simulation panel on the aircraft was omitted as a considered decision while finalising ASQR and the current PSQR. 14. Both the ASQR and current PSQR stipulate that “The take off distance required at NTC should be less than 1000 m” . The broad based ASQR were made on the basis of RFI responses to ensure that a large number of aircraft met the ASQR. In the news article, it is falsely stated that the take off distance of the PC-7 Mk II is exactly 1000 m, as in fact the take off distance of the PC-7 Mk II at maximum AUW at Sea Level is less than 850 m. A number of other competing aircraft had a take-off distance more than 850 m but were able to qualify because of the broad based ASQR stipulated as 1000 m. 15. Both ASQR and current PSQR specify the maximum speed is 450 kmph and not 400 kmph. As against this, the maximum speed of the PC-7 Mk Il is 555 kmph and not 448 kmph as falsely stated in the news article. 16. The contracted unit cost of the PC-7 Mk II is 6.09 Million CHF (Swiss Francs). In May 2012 when the contract was signed, the exchange rate of 1 CHF was ` 51, therefore, the unit cost of PC-7 Mk II was approximately ` 31 Crore. HAL submitted its DPR for HTT-40 in May 2013 using the exchange rate of 2011. Therefore, the cost of HTT-40 had to be corrected as per the then prevailing exchange rate. Taking all costs associated with HTT-40, the ‘real’ cost of the HTT-40 at 2011 price level was ` 43.59 Crore. Hence, even at 2011 PL, the HTT-40 is approximately 40 % more expensive than PC-7 Mk II. Exchange rates keep fluctuating and are presently at a record high vis-à-vis the Rupee. If the present exchange rate of 1 CHF = ` 63 (though average exchange rate over last two years has been 1 CHF = ` 57) is considered, the unit cost of a PC-7 Mk II will translate to approximately ` 38.3 crore. As against this, the ‘real’ cost of a HTT-40 at 2013 price level will be ` 47.6 crore i.e.

25 % more expensive. The price of the PC-7 Mk Il (in CHF) is frozen under the ‘Option Clause’ for deliveries up to 2017. As against this, the unit cost of a HTT-40 would escalate at Government approved Pricing Policy Review Committee (PPRC) rate of 4.5 % every year and will be approximately ` 62 crore at 2017 price level. This would make the HTT-40, 62 % more expensive from 2017 onwards which would be the period during which all deliveries of the HTT-40 are projected to be made. On the other hand, the deliveries of all 75 PC-7 Mk II would be completed by 2015 and if the Option Clause is exercised, 38 more PC-7 Mk II could be delivered by 2017. 17. The attempt to highlight the differences in the current PSQR and ASQR needs to be put in the correct perspective. The draft PSQR were prepared by IAF based on various options and inputs provided by HAL as the OEM of BTA (Make), which were later finalised after numerous meetings and mutual agreement between IAF and HAL. The ASQR for BTA (Buy) case were ratified in accordance with DPP by SEPC, which includes representatives of MoD, DRDO, DGAQA, HQ IDS and Service HQ, on 09 October 2009 following the procedure specified in Chapter I of the DPP. Thereafter, the PSQR for BTA (Make) were amended to make them align with the ASQR for BTA (Buy) and issued to HAL on 01 December 2009. In fact, HAL was issued with the current PSQR on 01 December 2009, which is two months before DAC granted AON for HAL to go ahead with the indigenous design and development of BTA (Make) on 01 February 2010. 18. IAF and MoD have followed the Defence Procurement Procedures all along for both BTA (Buy) and BTA (Make) with full transparency and probity. All allegations of dilutions of specifications to favour a particular vendor/aircraft made in the articles are absolutely baseless and incorrect done with a malicious intent as no changes were made either in the middle of the project or after ratification of the ASQR/PSQR.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful