The National Cadets Corps (NCC) is procuring 110 microlite aircraft to train its Air Force wing cadets.
These aircraft would be bought off-the-shelf for which NCC has issued a global tender (Request for Proposal), an NCC officer said in New Delhi today.
Global microlite aircraft manufacturers are expected to submit their bids by the end of next month.
The NCC hopes to finalise the contract for the microlites by December 2011 and the first set of 30 aircraft is expected to be inducted into the NCC Air Wings before end of 2012.The remaining 80 aircraft would be inducted in batches before June 2014.
Once the 110 aircraft are inducted and the performance of these flying machines have been certified, the NCC is expected to go in for a follow-on order of another 55 microlite by end of 2014, the officer said.
The NCC has stipulated that the microlites to be delivered to it should be of latest design. The microlites, weighing about 450-kg, would be twin-seaters with dual controls in the cockpit and would have a single piston engine.
The aircraft, which can tough speeds of 90 kmph, would be capable of operating on paved, hard grassy surfaces and from Advanced Landing Grounds, disused airfields, all with a field length of 1,000 metres and up to airfield elevation of 1,700 metres.
It would have an endurance of one-and-a-half hour with full fuel, with additional fuel tanks to complement endurance by another one-and-a-half hour.
"The NCC is hopeful of using these aircraft for the next 20 years to train the cadets," the officer said.
The NCC, a tri-service defence organisation for the youth with units in schools and colleges, trains its air wing cadets in gliding and microlite flying, apart from normal drill and weapon training.
The NCC Air Wing squadrons are tasked to achieve 1,000 launches on gliders or 200 hours on microlites, or a combination of 500 launches and 100 hours if it has both gliders and microlites.