Answering queries from media persons about IAF "favouring" Pilatus over state-run HAL's HTT-40 trainer, which is still under development, Antony said that the project to build the BTA was being pursued.
"As far as the ministry is concerned, that project is still on," he said.
Antony was talking to media persons after launch of launch of the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant here.
Asked about the IAF wanting more Pilatus aircraft, he said the proposal had not come to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
"When it comes to the DAC, (we) will discuss and take appropriate decision," he said.
Informed sources said Indian Air Force had written to the defence ministry in July highlighting that several of HAL projects - the Light Combat Aircraft for the IAF and the Navy, the Intermediate Jet Trainer, the Light Combat Helicopter, and the Light Utility Helicopter - had been facing cost escalations and time overruns.
The sources said IAF was also keen that defence ministry allows it to exercise its option for ordering 38 more Pilatus PC-7s and give clearance for more aircraft if need arose.
The IAF inducted the first of its 75 Pilatus PC-7s in May. The approval for purchasing the aircraft was accorded last May.
--IANS (Posted on 12-08-2013)