Despite IAF, HAL moves ahead on with HTT-40
Despite the IAF’s serious concerns over the prospective cost of the HTT-40 and recommendation that the project be shelved, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is powering on with the programme. HAL is rushing to piece together the platform so as not to irk the IAF further.
In February, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne had said there was no need for the HTT-40. Two months later, HAL shows no sign that it is winding down the programme— instead it is reviving things up. Apart from an active competition for its turboprop engine, HAL has called for competitive bids for a number of systems including primary flight display units, integrated standby instrument system, angle of attack system, engine instrument and crew alert system, hydraulic utility packs, hydraulic pumps, total air temperature probe, air data probe, vapour cycle cooling system, emergency accumulator manifold. The IAF is poised to proceed with follow-on orders of Swiss-built Pilatus PC-7 MkII propeller trainers this year.
Top sources at HAL said the programme was “very much on track” and that there was no question of “scrapping it”. They also added that discussions were on with the IAF to make them come around to the view that the indigenous platform would be superior to the Swiss aircraft under induction.