You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!


The Indian Air Force (IAF) faces a crucial decision regarding its Stage-II Pilot Training Program with the ageing Kiran-MkII jet trainers nearing retirement in 2025. The indigenous HJT-36 Sitara envisioned as the successor, remains mired in technical delays, pushing the IAF to consider foreign alternatives.

Developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the HJT-36 Sitara promised an advanced indigenous trainer. However, plagued by technical issues since its first flight in 2003, it has yet to meet all IAF requirements. Despite recent modifications and renewed flight testing, uncertainty lingers about its ability to enter service before the Kiran-MkII retirement deadline.

Anticipating delays, the IAF issued an RFI in 2016, attracting offers from Argentina’s FMA IA-63 Pampa and the Czech Republic’s Aero L-39 Albatros. Both aircraft boast proven performance and global operator bases, offering immediate solutions.

With the Sitara’s future uncertain, IAF has not officially confirmed if it will go ahead and procure trainer jets from abroad but Aero L-39 Albatros’s presence at Aero India 2023 to showcase its capabilities to Indian officials, should worry HAL.

With the Kiran-MkII retirement deadline looming, the IAF’s decision is critical. Delaying could impact pilot training pipelines, potentially affecting combat readiness.

NOTE : Article cannot be reproduced without written permission of in any form even for YouTube Videos to avoid Copy right strikes. Websites doing illegal reproductions will get DMCA and Legal Notices.