The Nepalese Army (NA), which is running short of fixed winged aircraft, will soon have additional 2 Piper Archer training aircraft taking the instance increase in its fixed wing fleet size.
According to the Directorate of Public Relations and Information (DPR), Army Headquarter, the NA is buying two Piper Archer general training aircraft from Piper Aircraft, Inc. USA. The DPR confirmed that they have sent two Crews, two engineers and one technician on training of the aircraft at USA. The aircraft is anticipated to join NA fleet by Ashadh, 2075.
The Piper Archer has been, and continues to be, the perfect gateway to launching pilots’ flying careers all over the world. With a 180 HP Lycoming engine and an advanced Garmin G1000 Avionics Suite and128 ktas maximum cruise speed with 522 nm maximum range and 870 lbs, standard useful load, the Archer is a modern and reliable aircraft for both teaching and cross-country flying. It offers the numerous options and upgrades, such as the stylish LX package, ready to fit for the private pilot’s training needs.
The NA is preparing to procure 2 Russian made Mi-17 V5 helicopter, 2 Augusta VVIP helicopters, 1 Bell 407GXP, four PZL M28 Sky truck and 2 CN-235 multi-mission light medium Military Transport aircraft from Indonesia. Eight of them will be bought from different companies while four will be gifted by the United States. The NA has already signed a deal with PT Dirgantara Indonesia to buy a 49-seater CN235-220 plane. It also has started the process to procure six–two each Heavy Transport, Medium Transport and Light Transport helicopters–worth Rs8 billion.
Under the category of Heavy Transport helicopters, NA will buy two MI-17 under a government-to-government deal with Russia. The MI-17, which is considered feasible in a terrain like Nepal’s, is manufactured only in Russia and is used heavily across the world by the defense forces. The aircraft, according to the Army, will be used for search, rescue and distribution of relief during the disasters.
The Army currently owns 10 aircraft which includes four MI-17, two Bell 206, two Écureuils and one Islander and one PZL M28 Sky truck. The defense force has recently sold its two Aérospatiale AS-332L-1 Super Puma an advanced chopper for VIPs to China.