India’s defense acquisition council (DAC) approved the purchase of 106 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in a session on August 11.
The clearance comes after HAL completed the development of the HHT-40 basic trainer aircraft that can support basic flying training, aerobatics and instrument flying, among other roles.
The aircraft features tandem seating, has a maximum takeoff weight of 2,800 kg and reaches a maximum speed of 450 km/hr.
HAL is set to first deliver 70 trainers, once the aircraft prototype completes the post certification phase. The remaining 36 will be financed after the aircraft achieves initial operational capability.
According to a government announcement, about Rs 8,722.38 crore (approx. $1.1 billion) were approved for the acquisition of the aircraft, as well as super rapid gun mounts for Indian navy and coast guard ships, and armor piercing ammunition. The DAC session also gave approvals that are likely to speed up the procurement of AK 203 rifles and unmanned aerial vehicle upgrades.