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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is pushing forward with the development of its indigenous Hindustan Turbo Fan Engine (HTFE-25). This engine, designed for a thrust of 25 kN, has the potential to power a variety of aircraft, including trainer jets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), light combat aircraft, and even regional jets.

The inauguration of a new design and test facility at HAL’s Aero Engine Research & Development Centre (AERDC) in December 2023 marked a significant step towards accelerating the HTFE-25 program. This state-of-the-art facility houses advanced equipment and testing capabilities, aiming to expedite the engine’s development cycle.

HAL initially set an ambitious target of 2025 to complete the engine’s validation phase. However, they acknowledge the need for an extension. Current projections indicate a 2-3 year delay, pushing the validation completion date further down the line.

Despite the delay, HAL has made considerable progress. A full-engine Technology Demonstrator (TD) has been successfully built and tested, achieving speeds up to 55% of its designed capacity. Additionally, two core engines have been produced and are undergoing development trials.

Transforming the HTFE-25 from a demonstrator to a flight-worthy engine certified for use will require further significant effort. HAL estimates this process could take an additional five years or more.

To facilitate further testing and development, HAL plans to utilize a company-owned Hawk 132 Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT), modified as “Hawk-I,” as a flying testbed for the HTFE-25. This real-world testing environment will provide valuable data for fine-tuning the engine’s performance and integration with an aircraft platform.

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