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Indigenous basic trainer aircraft's certification likely in 2018

The HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft developed by HAL.

BENGALURU (PTI): India's indigenous basic trainer aircraft, Hindustan Turboprop Trainer-40 (HTT-40), is likely to be certified in 2018, state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has said.

HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju on February 17 flew in the HTT-40 and Hawk-i aircraft at Aero India 2017 being held at the Air Force Station in Yelahanka in Bengaluru.

"We are trying to take a managerial decision in the middle of this year and by next year complete the certification process," Raju told reporters.

"It may take the middle of this year, depending on the spin and stall characteristics of HTT-40, we may launch limited series production by the end of this year," he said.

HTT-40 will replace Hindustan Piston Trainer (HPT)-32 'Deepak' that was being used by IAF for primary training.

The aircraft would be used for basic flight training, aerobatics, instrument flying and close-formation flights, whereas its secondary role would include navigation and night flying.

Developed with internal funding of HAL, HTT-40's inaugural flight of PT-1 was carried out on June 17, 2016. Two more prototypes are being manufactured to speed up flight trials and development process.

Stating that HAL expects an order of 106 aircraft, Raju said there are also export enquiries for the basic trainer.

"We do have enquiries on basic trainer and basic trainer with minimum weapon onto it, an integration which will follow after certification or once the basic characteristics are positioned....," he said.

After flying in the first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132, named Hawk-i, piloted by Wg Cdr Pratyush Awasti, Raju described it as a "lifetime" experience and said it gave him an opportunity to practically see and feel the upgraded aircraft.

The 100th Hawk aircraft produced at HAL is an upgraded one. It is equipped with indigenous Mission Computer in dual redundant configuration, Embedded Virtual Training System, Softnet Radio and Cockpit Human Machine Interface (HMI).

To a question on further upgradation process, Raju said "Now what we have done it is we have matured it an demonstrated to customer, the customer is already with us...we will take their comments and if anything is required in their opinion they will interact with us, and we will try and incorporate."

"Once we do this we will take it back to the Indian Air Force. About 100 aeroplanes are there, they will be upgrades in a scheduled manner," he said.


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