De­spite IAF, HAL moves ahead on with HTT-40

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

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.

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