The State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) does it again. HTT-40 (Basic trainer aircraft) has successfully demonstrated critical six-turn spin test capability and is going to seek FOC (Final Operation Clearance). In September, it had successfully completed the right spin capability.
Top officials of the company confirmed “All the spin behaviour of the aircraft has been textbook perfect and now the next step will be seeking FOC. The HTT-40 falls under the category of “Indian designed, developed and manufactured” (IDDM) equipment, as stated in the Defence Procurement Policy (2016). The aircraft has cleared all Air Staff Qualitative Requirements ASQRs as per the requirements.”
The company has been carrying out a series of tests of the HTT-40; the project design had started in 2013 and was supported by the internal funding of Rs 350 crore before it started preparing for spin tests in a matter of five years.
With these successful spin testing, the image and the credibility of the HAL gets a boost and also proves that the company is capable of designing a fixed-wing and spin worthy aircraft pointed out a senior executive of the company.
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“So far all the Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) test points have been met successfully and with the successful spin tests, the last metric has been completed. This is a critical requirement before the aircraft can be put into service,” the executive added.
Just last year, the HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft had completed the two spin tests which had cleared the way for further trials of the aircraft, which has got an approval from the Defence Acquisition Council for giving 70 aircraft. However, there is still no order from the Indian Air Force (IAF for this basic trainer – the most critical requirement it had laid down was the six-turn spin tests.
Besides the six-turn spin tests, the turbo HTT-40 has so far not only met but has also crossed all the ASQRs for the flight performance as set by the IAF. This includes ceiling, spin, turn, and speed, etc.
Reportedly the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II trainer procurement is already under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “There is a possibility that the IAF could buy these trainers as all the parameters have been met,” said an official.
The company already has the experience of building the Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJT) for the IAF which has been done with the technology transfer from the UK based BAE Systems.