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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

In a strong message to the import lobby and in a massive show of confidence in the indigenous HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft program developed by the State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria is set to fly in HTT-40 prototype aircraft later this month while the final dates are yet to be worked out but a tentative date worked out will be 14th of this month.

HTT-40 (Basic trainer aircraft) already successfully demonstrated critical six-turn spin test capability recently and is going to seek IOC (Initial Operation Clearance) by end of this year as IAF chief committed to placing orders for 70 HTT-40 BTA to train its upcoming fighter pilots in coming months.

HTT-40 so far not only has met but has also crossed all the ASQRs for the flight performance set by the IAF. This includes ceiling, spin, turn, and speed, etc. IAF which already operates Pilatus PC-7 Mark II trainer procured earlier from the swiss firm is already under the scanner for alleged allegations of bribe been paid to secure its orders to a middleman and now IAF has decided not to procure more PC-7 from them and instead procure HTT-40 from HAL.

HAL is keen to develop an armed variant of the HTT-40 BTA by 2022-23 for the export market and domestic market which can be used for aerial patrolling against smugglers and in anti-narcotic operations in uncontested air space. according to industry sources close to idrw.org, HAL is pushing Armed variant to the Indian Army and Border Security Force.

According to HAL final order for HTT-40 from India alone will cross 106 units and is exploring exporting it to several countries who have shown a keen interest in its procurement after it was demonstrated to many visiting dignitaries and military attaches in Aero India show held earlier this year.

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