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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) designed next-generation fighter trainer Supersonic Omni Role Trainer Aircraft (SpORT) which will act as India’s first lead-in-fighter trainer (LIFT) built on the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Trainer platform, is set to become reality as HAL plans to build one in 2023-24 for the IAF which has fully backed the program after Supersonic Omni Role Trainer Aircraft was first proposed for the first time in Aero India 2019.

SpORT is a fighter trainer which will help pilots train to fly modern aircraft including the Rafale and SU-30 MKI and also be used as a Large Force Engagement training for pilots since it can emulate any fighter jet one that is in the fleet and also that are with rivals for actual combat training.

idrw.org has been informed by an industrial source that, 18 Tejas trainers which are to be built, after completion of delivery of 16 Tejas FOC Configuration . will have the prototype of the first SpORT LIFT Trainer which will also be fully combat-capable by 2023 and it has been taken up as a separate program now by HAL.

The spORT will have an open-source mission computer that will allow instructors to mimic fighter aircraft which the trainee pilot will be flying when he is deputed to his regular squadron. HAL has taken upon its self to develop all the software related section of the SPORT which will help mimic fighter aircraft based on the requirement.

IAF is looking to procure 40-50 SpORT based on its final procurement plans once the prototype is evaluated, but the order can go up if it becomes part of the Stage-III Pilot program in IAF. as informed to idrw.org, If it becomes Stage-III Trainer aircraft, it could mean minimum order of 100 aircraft since it could require all new trainee pilots to be trained but the present plan is to use SpORT for Dissimilar air combat training (DACT) type for air combat training to simulate the latest generation of combat aircraft both in the fleet and that with the Chinese/Pakistani fighters and also to provide combat experience to new conversion type in squadron levels.

The spORT will fully combat-capable so that it can be used in actual combat also if and when required by the IAF. HAL also wants to promote spORT LIFT to many prospective Asian countries who are interested in trainer aircraft that can be used for combat duties and costs low.

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