Feb 28, 2014

India Looking Abroad For Intermediate Jet Trainers

Saddled with obsolete training aircraft, the Indian air force has decided to snub the long-delayed, indigenous HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet trainer and purchase new trainers from abroad.
The IAF has issued a request for information for a lightweight, single-engine, twin-seat trainer with a secondary light attack capability.
The RFI comes weeks after Indian Defense Minister said the much-delayed Sitara IJT is likely to be operational this year..
The IAF has been reluctant to exercise the option of buying an IJT since the state-run HAL has been developing a trainer for the force for the last 15 years.
India has been forced to take this decision as deadlines for getting the operational clearance for Sitara have been breached on a number of occasions.
The RFI for new a IJT states that the aircraft should be capable of operating from airfields at least 2000 meters above sea level.
The aircraft should be capable of carrying at least 1000 kg (2,200 lb.) of external load and be equipped with a minimum of five hard points, with each stressed to carry at least 300 kg.
The aircraft should be capable of employing a lightweight gun-pod with adequate ammunition for at least five seconds of firing time and reusable rocket pods, and should] be able to carry at least four 250-kg bombs.

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