Sources said that Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), signed a Rs 1,400-crore deal on Thursday, for setting up of two simulation centres and providing 1,200 hours of training each year for the next 20 years.
The deal is a build, operate and maintain model, which will see the firm not just build the physical structure and provide the simulators, but also to conduct the training.
Confirming the deal, ADTL CMD Col (redt) HS Shankar told TOI: “The training will be for the Russian helicopter Mi-17 V5. We’ve been working on setting up the simulation centre for the past few years and it is ready now. We will be training both pilots and crew as per the contract and will provide 1,200 guaranteed training hours for the next 20 years.”
The firm, in which Adani Enterprises’ subsidiary Adani Defence Systems and Technologies acquired 26% stake last year, will begin training IAF pilots in the next three months as mandated by the contract. The pilots will be trained on the Mi-17V5 helicopters at the two simulation centres at the Sarsawa and Bagdogra Air Force stations.
“Earlier, a simulator centre was set up through Mahindra to provide training for the C130J pilots and crew. This centre is operational in Hindon, but that was for fixed wing transport pilots. The ADTL deal is the first that would involve chopper pilots of the IAF,” a source said.
The simulation or training centres are equipped with full motion based simulators, developed along with Russians. “…We understand how crucial this aspect of training is for the IAF and we’ve done everything to provide the best-in-class training. We’ve already hired former IAF chopper pilots who were then trained to provide training to the serving officers,” Shankar said.
He added that the firm has employed three senior retired officers as chief instructors, while there are many more at the lower level.