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India approves acquisition of HTT-40 trainers for air force

The HAL HTT-40 basic turboprop trainer will augment the IAF's training aircraft numbers, which are currently below establishment strength. (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

The Indian government has approved the acquisition of 70 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF)

In an announcement on 1 March, the government said that the procurement has a value of INR68.283 billion (USD827.78 million). HAL is required to supply the aircraft over a six-year period. The acquisition also includes associated equipment and training aids such as simulators.

HAL told Janes that the company expects the contract to be signed later in March.

HAL said that the aircraft is configurable for upgrades to incorporate additional requirements of the Indian Armed Forces in the future. The company added that the trainer has approximately 56% indigenous content at the moment.

The company said that it intends to increase this content to 60% through indigenisation of major components and subsystems.

According to HAL, it will engage with private industrial companies, including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in its supply chain to increase the indigenisation quotient. The company added that the procurement has the potential to provide direct employment to approximately 1,500 personnel and indirect employment for up to 3,000 people spread over more than 100 MSMEs.

The HTT-40 is a turboprop aircraft designed to have good low speed-handling qualities and provide better training effectiveness, according to HAL. The aircraft has an air-conditioned cockpit, modern avionics, hot refuelling, running changeover, and zero-zero ejection seats.

The IAF issued its request for proposal (RFP) to HAL for 70 HTT-40s on 4 February 2021. The HTT-40 is intended to eventually replace 75 Swiss-made Pilatus PC‐7 Mk II tandem‐seat trainer aircraft inducted between 2013 and 2018.

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