After a long wait, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday, Feb 4, 2021 received a Request for Proposal from Indian Air Force for their Basic Trainers.
After a long wait, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday, Feb 4, 2021 received a Request for Proposal from Indian Air Force for their Basic Trainers. On the side lines of the ongoing 13th edition of Aero-India 2021, the documents were received by CMD of HAL R Madhavan, CMD, from Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, DCAS and VL Kantha Rao, DG (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence.
What does the RFP say?
It is for 70 Basic Trainers, with an additional clause for 38 more. The production of these trainers will be at the manufacturing facilities located in Bengaluru and Nashik.
According to HAL the indigenous content will be around 60 per cent and will be supported by various agencies including as Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Regional Director Aeronautical Quality Assurance (RDAQA), and Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) and others.
This is the first time ever in the aircraft industry that an RFP has been issued within six years of the first flight. “The certification will be given against the Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirements (PSQR),” said a statement issued by HAL.
Earlier in the day, during media interaction, the HAL CMD had said “Initially the aircraft will be made at the Bengaluru facility where it was designed. And then it will move to the Nashik facility for series production.”
Adding, “The initial number is 70. We are looking at an order of 106 trainers.”
In 2019, the chief of Indian Air Force ACM RKS Bhadauria had gone for a spin in HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft (TSR002), the aircraft he flew in was the second prototype.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that the indigenous HTT-40 falls under the category of “Indian designed, developed and manufactured” (IDDM) equipment of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2016).
So far, the Basic Trainer has already cleared all Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) so far.
A basic fixed-wing aircraft has been designed and developed by HAL. The aircraft which is suitable for the IAF officers who are learning how to fly will be powered by Honeywell turbo-prop engine TPE-331-12B.
In light of controversy which surrounded the Swiss aircraft-maker Pilatus, no follow on orders could be placed.
To give a boost to the Made in India initiative, soon after taking over as the IAF Chief ACM RKS Bhadauria had announced that the IAF is looking for indigenous trainer aircraft.
In a short span of five years, the aircraft has completed all major tests and hot refuelling too has been demonstrated successfully on the aircraft with the engine running.
Cost of the trainers
A top official of HAL stated that the estimated cost of these trainers to be built by HAL are comparable with other trainers available globally. And the cost is dependent on the “life cycle cost or through life sustainment cost” and maintenance support for almost three decades.
The development of the HTT-40 was funded by the company itself which put in Rs 500 crore.
Timeline for delivery
Once the order is placed, the HAL plans to deliver two HTT-40s in the first year and then the numbers will go up to eight the next year and then by the third year 10 aircraft per year.
These aircraft will have the capability to be weaponised and could also be used for a reconnaissance role.