Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has confirmed that it developing the Hindustan Lead-in Fighter Trainer (HLFT-42) aircraft, a bare metal, low-cost,single-engine, tandem-seat trainer aircraft that will be offered as a supersonic advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft in markets where LCA-Tejas might be seen as an expensive fighter jet.

HLFT-42 seems to be borrowing a lot from HF-24, at least in its wings, and air intake design. HF-24 design was very stable and the airframe supported Mach 2 speeds, but it never reached its potential due to a lack of suitable engines to power them. HLFT-42 inspiration might be HF-24 which was a naturally stable design but choosing HF-24 as a base also helps mitigate risks of overdependence on the flight controls (rudder, elevator, ailerons) to remain stable which will indirectly reduce the cost of the aircraft.

HLFT-42 seems to have borrowed at least the front section from the Tejas that will ensure that the aircraft nose cone will have enough room to house an AESA Radar and inflight-refueling probe so that it can also be used as a light combat aircraft. HF-24 which flew without onboard radar never was designed to have one so it was a wise decision to go for a nose cone that is inspired by the Tejas program.

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