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State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has confirmed that it will not pursue the development of an armed variant for the HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft. This decision comes as there is currently no demand for such a variant from the primary user, the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The HTT-40 is a turboprop aircraft designed to deliver excellent low-speed handling qualities and enhance training effectiveness. This fully aerobatic tandem seat turbo trainer features an air-conditioned cockpit, modern avionics, hot refuelling capability, running changeover, and zero-zero ejection seats.

Equipping the HTT-40 with armament would necessitate a series of system upgrades. It would require an EO/IR (Electro-Optical/Infrared) system capable of collecting images for target recognition during day and night operations. Additionally, it would require an encrypted V/UHF radio for secure communication, track and waypoint exchange, and target information.

Night operational capability with infrared vision through Night Vision Goggles (NVG) would also be essential. The cockpit and external lights would need to be compatible with NVGs, including formation flight lights. Furthermore, the aircraft would require two Chaff & Flare dispensers

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is actively considering the sale of HTT-40 as a Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) to interested countries. In recent years, HAL has received inquiries from several nations regarding the aircraft. The chances of securing export orders for the HTT-40 have increased, particularly after the Indian Air Force (IAF) concluded a deal for 70 aircraft earlier this year.

As HAL explores potential export opportunities, the development of an armed variant of the HTT-40 could be undertaken if demanded by an export customer. This flexibility allows HAL to cater to the specific requirements of interested nations, should they express a need for an armed version of the aircraft.

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