The Pilatus aircraft manufacturer has reportedly received permission to export 75 military training aircraft to India in a deal rumoured to be worth a billion dollars (SFr840 million).
According to the German-language tabloid Blick on Tuesday, the deal will be announced at the Paris Air Show which started this week.
It was already known that Pilatus was bidding for the contract. At the end of February chairman Oscar J. Schwenk said a deal of such a size “only comes along every 20 years”.
Indian Air Chief Marshal P. V. Naik told this week’s edition of US magazine Aviation Week that the Swiss had offered the best price.
The magazine added that once the Pilatus deal was signed, some young Indian pilots would probably be sent to Switzerland for training.
Pilatus has not yet commented publicly on the deal, but the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) has confirmed that the export had been approved.
Since the PC-7 planes are unarmed, they do not come under the law governing the export of weapons.
However, given the size of the contract, it had to be submitted to the interministerial export monitoring group, which includes representatives from Seco and the foreign and defence ministries.
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