State-owned aerospace and defence major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received a request for proposal (RFP) from the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The RFP is for the procurement of 70 Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) basic trainer aircraft.

It was issued at the country’s premier defence and aerospace show ‘Aero India 2021’.

The documents were handed over by Indian Ministry of Defence director general (Acquisition) V L Kantha Rao and Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh to HAL chairman and managing director R Madhavan.

HAL noted that the RFP includes an option for the IAF to procure 38 additional trainers.

The HTT-40 is designed to replace the IAF’s fleet of HPT-32 Deepak basic trainers.

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This fixed-wing aircraft has a bubble canopy and a T-tail configuration, as well as a retractable tricycle landing gear system with a steerable nose wheel.

With a maximum take-off weight of 2,800kg, the trainer can be configured to carry a gun, rockets and bombs to perform light combat and counter-insurgency missions.

The company noted that the production of HTT-40 units will be carried out at the company’s Bengaluru and Nashik facilities. Each aircraft will feature over than 60% indigenous content.

In December 2019, HAL explored plans to produce 100 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft.

Recently, the IAF sealed the Rs480bn ($6.57bn) deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) from HAL.