Geneva: Switzerland's aviation giant Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is set to enter into the biggest ever contract for supplying 75 basic trainer aircraft at a cost of about USD 1 billion to the Indian Air Force, a media report said on Saturday.

The Swiss company hopes to sign the contract soon, with the first consignment of 12 aircraft to be delivered in 24 months, said a Swiss economic daily.

Following the government's decision to ground HP-32 Deepak, manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the Indian Air Force is understood to have pressed for an immediate replacement.

India had called for offers for trainer aircraft in 2009 and subsequently short listed three- Pilatus, another trainer from the United States, and a third from South Korea.

But Pilatus declined to comment on the report.

The company supplied over 500 trainer aircraft largely to countries in the Middle East.

(Agencies)