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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Following the release of a Request for Information (RFI) to the industry in June 2020 by the Royal Australian Air Force for lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) aircraft to replace its fleet of 33 BAE Systems Hawk 127 trainer aircraft that was responded by the Boeing with its T-7A Redhawk, Korean Aircraft Industries (KAI) with the T-50, Lockheed Martin with the T-50A version of the T-50, Leonardo with the M-346 Master, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with the LCA-LIFT, RAAF has begun process to start technical screening of the aircraft on offer.

RAAF plans to retire its BAE Systems Hawk 127 from 2031 onwards but has started the process to streamline OEM offers that were received on its RFI. The government of India (GOI) had offered G2G (Government to Government) deal for the supply of LCA-LIFT Trainer aircraft to Australia earlier this year but that was rejected since RAAF is yet to frame the technical requirements that it wants from the LIFT that it plans to acquire.

Nevertheless, India has invited the RAAF team to visit India and tour the HAL facility to get a detailed briefing on the Hindustan Lead-in Fighter Trainer (HLFT-42) program that is currently underway to convert LCA-Trainer aircraft into LIFT by the State-owned HAL. idrw.org has been told that RAAF has responded positively to the invitation and the team might visit India in the coming months most likely at end of November or early December.

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