Pipistrel, the Slovenian maker of ultralight aircraft, signed a deal on Monday to deliver 194 trainer aircraft to the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and the National Cadet Corps, the biggest single deal in the company’s history.
The deal has also been described by Arming India, a specialised defence portal, as one of the single largest deals involving ultralight aircraft in the world, worth about 17 million euros.
Pipistrel director and owner Ivo Boscarol said the company would produce six to seven of the customised Virus SW 80 aircraft each month.
“We have sold out half of our current capacity for the next two and a half years,” Boscarol was quoted as saying in the company’s press release.
The deliveries will start in eight months and must be completed within 30 months after the first delivery. The contract includes an option for an additional 100 aircraft.
Pipistrel will not have to carry out counter-supplies or assemble the aircraft in India.
The pilots will be trained by the in-house Pipistrel Academy.
The two-seater aircraft, christened Garuda in India, is made of light composite materials.
It has a top speed of 220 km/h and a range of 1,500 kilometres with a useful payload of 300 kilos. It can operate at elevations up to 15,000 feet.
The aircraft will be used exclusively for training and are equipped with a special rescue parachute that brings both pilots and the aircraft safely to the ground in the event of malfunction.
Pipistrel has a staff of 90 and has produced over 1,300 aircraft since it started out 26 years ago.