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The Flying Instructors’ School (FIS) at Air Force Station Tambaram is all set to commemorate its remarkable 75-year journey with a grand celebration on November 3 and 4. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, will be in attendance at this special event, where many serving and retired alumni of the institution will join in the festivities.

In conjunction with this milestone, India’s renowned state-owned enterprise, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has put forth an ambitious proposal to develop the HLFT-42, a cutting-edge supersonic trainer aircraft weighing 16 tons. This initiative aims to establish a compelling case for incorporating the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT) aircraft into the existing Pilot training curriculum.

The HLFT-42, a 4.5th generation trainer aircraft, was unveiled earlier this year at Aero India 2023 by HAL. Ongoing discussions are taking place between HAL and the Indian Air Force (IAF) to explore the potential role of this advanced aircraft within the current Pilot Training curriculum.

One of the primary motivations behind this proposal is the evolving landscape of pilot training in India. As the country progresses with its ambitious projects, such as Tejas Mk2 and the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fighter jets, it has become apparent that these programs will not include two-seater variants. Additionally, the existing BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs), designed for subsonic training, may not adequately prepare pilots for the intricacies of fifth-generation fighter jets.

HAL’s HLFT-42 holds the promise of bridging this training gap by offering advanced capabilities and a supersonic training environment. The discussions with the IAF are geared toward exploring how this innovative aircraft can enhance pilot training in preparation for the next generation of combat aircraft.

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