Indian Air Force sends RFP to HAL for 70 HTT-40 basic trainers, previously rejected

India Air Force HAL HTT40
HAL HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft.

On February 4, 2021, India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft with option for an additional 38.

The documents were handed over by Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh and DG (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence Shri V L Kantha Raoto Chairman and Managing Director, HAL Shri R Madhavan during Aero India 2021.

Production of the aircraft will take place at HAL's two manufacturing plants in Bengaluru and Nashik. The trainer will have more than 60% indigenous components.

This potential deal had already been anticipated in August 2020 following the Indian Defense Acquisition Council's (DAC's) approval of approximately $ 2 billion in defense equipment spending, including 106 HTT-40 aircraft.

The IAF has repeatedly highlighted its need to introduce additional basic trainers as the number of pilots to train has increased dramatically in recent years, from 110 to 140 on a half-yearly basis.
The IAF's previous plan was to purchase additional Pilatus PC-7 MkIIs as the initial contract with the Swiss manufacturer included 75 aircraft [already delivered] plus an option for another 38. The plan was later dropped due to India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) corruption allegations against Pilatus.

However, the IAF continued to look to trainers from foreign manufacturers as it found the HTT-40 inadequate, probably due to fear of long development times.

Currently, student pilots go through three-phase training involving the PC-7, the Kiran jet, and finally the Hawk advanced jet before to fly fighter jets. As the Kiran trainers are nearing the end of their operational life, part of phase 2 is being carried out in the PC-7. An IAF official said the delay in India's indigenous Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) Sitara program, developed to replace the Kiran, is upsetting their plans.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credit: Defece Decode

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.