SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
After Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., (HAL) was able to save its in-house HTT-40 project to develop light trainer aircraft for Indian Air force, after IAF had repeatedly turned down the project recently it got a boost when Defence ministry ordered IAF to place orders for HTT-40 to be used in Stage-I training of Pilots.
HAL now fears that IAF which operates Swiss-made Pilatus PC-7 Mark-II in large numbers will not a place a large order to make whole project financially viable, IAF also showed no interest in Armed variant of HTT-40 offered by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). So HAL now plans to offer Armed variant of HTT-40 to Indian Army. HAL sources close to idrw.org have confirmed that HAL wants to develop Armed variant of HTT-40 but refused to confirm if talks are been held with Indian Army.
Hal plans to incorporate 4th-generation avionics and weapons system on armed variant and from design stage HAL had factored in weapons station in aircraft structure, so there is lower turnaround time to develop armed variant. HAL’s key selling point will be aircraft’s ability to be used in counter-insurgency and Anti-Naxals operations by Indian Army and Paramilitary forces.
According to HAL, Armed HTT-40 can also be used for light attack, counter-insurgency (COIN), close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions, in low threat environments and work in close operations with attack helicopters like LCH (Light combat Helicopter ) in support of anti-tank role and scout duties .
HAL also is trying to get Indian navy on-board HTT-40 project. Navy currently is dependent on IAF for training its pilots in Stage-I/II level. HAL also sees great export potential for such light-armed attack variant which could be used by Air force in low-threat environments.