Nepalese Army to welcome two Piper Archer Training aircraft soon

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-KATHMANDU

The Nepalese Army (NA), which is running short of fixed winged aircraft, will soon have an additional 2 Piper Archer training aircraft taking an instant increase in its fixed-wing fleet size.

According to a Highly Placed Source, the purchased Piper Archer training aircraft from the USA is presently at the Piper Aircraft, Inc. USA hangar facility with its official Army Livery; National flag on the fin, six-sided red star bearing a yellow trident on the fuselage.

The NA has already trained two Crews, two engineers and one technician on the training of the aircraft at the USA. The aircraft is anticipated to join its service from Mid Air Base, No. 11 Brigade, Directorate General of Army Aviation inside Tribhuvan International Airport by early 2019.

T he 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 and 128 Knots, 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 recently has procured 1 Agusta AW319 VVIP helicopter with registration ‘NA-058’and is preparing to procure 2 Russian made Mi-17 V5 helicopters, 1 more Agusta 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.

Nepalese Army Aviation currently owns 13 aircraft which includes four MI-17, two Bell 206, three Écureuils, one Lancer, one Agusta AW319 and one Islander and one PZL M28 Sky truck.

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