In an important milestone, the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for stage-II training of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, has successfully demonstrated the capability to carry out six turn spins, displaying an important requirement for the platform. The aircraft will require another two years of testing after which it will be ready for induction, said R. Madhavan, Chief Managing Director, HAL.
“The IJT needs another two years of testing. There were some major modifications done in the aircraft. So all the earlier tests have to be repeated and demonstrated in the new configuration,” Mr. Madhavan said. “If the requirement [from the IAF] comes within that time, we can roll out immediately,” he stated.
With this, the HAL would have the entire range of trainer aircraft — HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA), the IJT, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) and the Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) being conceptualised based on the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas twin seat trainer aircraft, Mr. Madhavan noted.
Halted in 2016
The IJT, meant to replace the ageing Kirans of the IAF fleet, had earlier completed demonstration of capabilities in terms of altitude and speed envelope, load factor, satisfactory stall characteristics and limited armament capability as required by the IAF. However, the programme came to a halt in 2016 and flight testing resumed in April 2019.