Ministry of Defence, on March 10, 2023, signed a contract for the procurement of six Dornier-228 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at a cost of Rs 667 crore.
The aircraft was used by IAF for Route Transport roles and communication duties. Subsequently, it has also been used for training transport pilots of the IAF. The present lot of six aircraft will be procured with an upgraded fuel-efficient engine coupled with a five-bladed composite propeller.
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The aircraft 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 remote areas.
The Dornier 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL utility aircraft, designed and first manufactured by Dornier GmbH from 1981 until 1998. Two hundred and forty-five were built in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. In 1983, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) bought a production license and manufactured another 125 aircraft in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. In July 2017, 63 aircraft were still in airline service.