Sitara flies again! HAL’s IJT back in the sky

By: |
Updated: April 18, 2019 7:46:02 PM

Designed and developed by HAL, the IJT (HJT36), which is for the stage-II training of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, was put on hold when the aircraft had encountered problem in the spin test flights in the year 2016.

Sitara, HAL Intermediate Jet Trainer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, HAL Indian Air Force, IJT LSP4, BAE SystemsAccording to R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, “HAL continued its R&D efforts and undertook modification of IJT LSP4 aircraft based on extensive and comprehensive wind tunnel studies.”

The modified version of the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) went for flight testing on Wednesday. The flight, which took place at the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. facilities in Bengaluru, was flawless and successful.

Designed and developed by HAL, the IJT (HJT36), which is for the stage-II training of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots, was put on hold when the aircraft had encountered problem in the spin test flights in the year 2016.

After the failed spin tests, the company has been doing extensive research, and the design and technical teams have carried out the modifications required with more challenges ahead.

Also read: Indian Army set to get over 200 Spike anti-tank guided missiles, says report; key facts here

According to R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, “HAL continued its R&D efforts and undertook modification of IJT LSP4 aircraft based on extensive and comprehensive wind tunnel studies.”

The IJT `Sitara’ has been facing issues which has been modified from the developmental stage after it crashed in 2011. Since last year HAL has been working on putting the IJT through fresh wind tunnel tests after a design upgrade, in which the aircraft is deliberately stalled midair and recovered as part of the training process.

The Rs 2,989-crore project had started in 1999, but it failed after the trainer aircraft was unable to prove its ability to get out of a stall and spin, a critical feature needed in a trainer aircraft that is going to be used for training fresh pilots.

HAL has sought the help of UK based BAE Systems in 2014 for seeking help in re-designing the aircraft tail which could meet stall specifications of the IAF.

After passing the tunnel tests, today’s flight test was critical for the IJT and it is expected to move to the next stage of development before it is fully safe for the trainees in IAF. And can be produced for replacing the current `Kiran Mk II’ aircraft fleet by 2020. In view of several setbacks to the IJT programme caused by the structure and the weight, HAL has been forced to change its time lines atleast four times. The aircraft were expected to be inducted in 2015, but now it has been pushed to 2020.

Due to shortage of trainers, the IAF has been forced to modify its training pilots from a three aircraft plan to two aircraft plan.

The IJT is expected to provide high-speed training for IAF pilots entering the second stage of training. Fresh cadets begin flight training in a basic trainer aircraft (BTA) and then on an IJT, before moving on to an advanced jet trainer (AJT) to finally learn the art of combat flying.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Next Stories
1Chhattisgarh encounter: 2 Naxals involved in BJP MLA’s killing gunned down in Dantewada district
2Make in India F-21 jets to give India ‘significant edge’ with greater standoff capability, says Lockheed
3Private shipyard breaks the record! 50th warship of L&T gets commissioned