Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has witnessed the inaugural flight of home-grown HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft’s prototype developed by HAL.
Aimed at being used for the first stage training for all flying cadets of the three services, HTT-40 had made its maiden flight after much delay on May 31.
efence Minister Manohar Parrikar sitting inside the home-grown HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft’s prototype Manohar Parrikar /Twitter
Applauding the young HAL team that delivered the aircraft within the stipulated deadline, Parrikar said: “This aircraft has good potential and the government has shown its commitment.”
So far the aircraft has made seven flights since May 31. Earlier it had completed the high-speed taxi trials. “The low-speed trials were completed in March 2016 before which about 40 engine ground runs were completed,” HAL said.
Officials said detailed design phase of HTT-40 was launched in August 2013 with HAL’s internal funding and was completed in May 2015 and from there it has taken 12 months to fly the first prototype.
The Indian Air Force is expected to procure 70 HTT-40 aircraft.
Unlike projects like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and others, which are dependent on advances from the government in the development stages, HAL has earmarked Rs 350 crore from its own funds for the project.
HAL has said that the programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018, and towards this the company will be manufacturing three prototypes and two static test specimens.
Designed to meet the current demands of the Air Force, there is also a provision to include weapons for the trainer aircraft.
According to officials, the indigenous content on HTT-40 is close to 80 percent with about 75 plus systems out of the total 90 on the aircraft sourced from local players and sister divisions of HAL. HTT-40 aircraft weighs about 2,800 kg and has Turbo Prop engine of 950 shp class.