In his maiden visit as a Chief of Air Staff to Bangalore from November 13-15, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will be flying Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL), HTT-40 (Basic trainer aircraft). Confirming this, top HAL officer told Financial Express Online that, "The Air Chief will fly one of the HTT-40 aircraft which is going through various tests on November 14 afternoon."
As stated in the Defence Procurement Procedure (2016), the indigenous HTT-40 comes under the category of "Indian designed, developed and manufactured" (IDDM) equipment and has till date cleared all Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) as per the requirements.
Bhadauria who became the Chief of Air Staff on October 1, is not only a certified flying instructor, an attack instructor of CAT ‘A’ category, he is also an experimental test pilot. One of the finest pilots in Indian Air Force (IAF) has flown more than 27 types of fighter and transport aircraft so far, including the French Rafale.
According to the HAL spokesperson, "With critical spin a test being successful, HAL now is concentrating on completing the certification process of HTT40 as early as it can. The aim is to induct the aircraft by meeting the expectations of the customer."
The project design has started in 2013 and in a matter of five years with Rs 350 crore the HTT-40 has completed several spin tests successfully. These have proved that the state-owned company has the capability of not only designing a fixed-wing but can also build spin worthy aircraft.
The basic trainer has completed all the Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) test points including the spin tests. This means that the aircraft is ready to be put in service.
After successfully completing spin tests in 2018, the Defence Acquisition Council had given approval for 70 aircraft for the IAF.