The Ministry of Defense on Friday signed a contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for procurement of six Dornier-228 aircraft for the Indian Air Force at a cost of ₹667 crores.

The MoD stated that the present lot of six Dornier-228 aircraft will be procured with an upgraded fuel-efficient engine coupled with a five-bladed composite propeller. The 19-seater aircraft was used by the IAF for route transport and communication duties. Subsequently, it has also been used for training of transport pilots of the IAF.

The HAL manufactures them at its Kanpur facility and is ideally suited for short haul operations from semi-prepared/short runways of the North East and island chains of India. “The addition of the six aircraft will further bolster the operational capability of the IAF in the remote areas,” said the defense ministry.

In 2015 too, the IAF had signed a contract for the acquisition of 14 Dorniers for ₹1,090 crore from state-run HAL. And they were formally inducted into No. 41 ‘Otters’ Squadron in 2020. HAL has sold these aircraft to among others Coast Guards, and exported them to Seychelles and Mauritius as well.

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