Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has rolled out the first prototype of the HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft.

The aircraft will undertake ground runs and taxiing tests prior to its first flight, says HAL in a statement.

“It is important that all of us work towards meeting deadlines by overcoming challenges to meet the expectations at various levels,” says HAL managing director Suvarna Raju.

“The project has managed to steer through the initial headwinds and now is going full throttle. There are plans to weaponise and optimize HTT-40 aircraft.”

HTT 40

Hindustan Aeronautics

The rollout follows HAL’s 2015 selection of the Honeywell TPE331-12B turboprop to power the aircraft.

The Indian defence ministry intends to buy 68 of the locally-developed trainer to satisfy a portion of its 180-aircraft requirement to replace the outdated HAL HPT-32 Deepak. The remainder of the need will be satisfied with the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 Mk II.

Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the Indian Air operates 75 PC-7 Mk IIs, and has 38 on option.

Air force officials have long expressed a preference for the PC-7 Mk. II over the HAL’s indigenously designed HTT-40.

Source: FlightGlobal.com