The Indian Air Force is all set to spread its wings further. In order to attain greater heights, the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots are being trained on some of the world's finest flying-machines known as Agusta Westland AW-101.
Agusta Westland AW-101 are helicopters that have been purchased for commuting dignitaries. The first assortment of which is to be delivered by the end of 2012.
"The first batch of the IAF pilots had arrived in Britain as scheduled and were undergoing training at the Agusta Westland facility," said Finmeccanica group CEO Giuseppe Orsi during a press meet at the Farnborough Air Show.
Though, he didn't go into further details but told that some of the pilots would be trained in Britain as instructors also and they would in turn train their colleagues back home in India.
Agusta Westland, incorporating the former British Westland Helicopters, is a Finmeccanica group company now. It has delivered some 300 helicopters of different types to 22 countries since the merger of Augusta and Westland in 2000.
The week-long air show ended on July 15.
Getting familiar with its secure ride, The Indian Air Force selected the three-engined AW-101 for its VIP movement in 2010 in a US $827 million deal for 12 helicopters inclusive of training. All 12 helicopters are supposed to delivered by 2013.
The helicopter was selected after field trials after the results were evaluated by the IAF and the Special Protection Group (SPG), responsible for protection of the prime minister and elite political leaders.
The quirky aircrafts are fitted with missile jammers and electronic warfare counter-measure mechanisms as indeed like those of the US or other presidents around the world. No details are available though.
Defence News - IAF To Soon Receive The First AW-101 Helicopters