India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has rolled-out the first prototype of the Hindustan Turboprop Trainer (HTT-40) aircraft.
The aircraft, which can be adapted as a light attack aircraft, will soon be undergoing ground trials and taxi trials with assistance from Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) before its maiden flight, said the company.
HAL CMD T. Suvarna Raju said: "It is important that all of us work towards meeting deadlines by overcoming challenges to meet the expectations at various levels.
"The project has managed to steer through the initial headwinds and now is going full throttle.
"There are plans to weaponise and optimise HTT-40 aircraft."
Conceptualised by HAL to fulfil the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) requirement of 181 trainer aircraft, HTT-40 aircraft will be primarily used for basic flight training, aerobatics, instrument flying and close-formation flights, whereas its secondary roles will include navigation and night-flying.
The aircraft features zero-zero ejection seats and multi-function displays.
In a separate development, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has decided to replace the IAF fleet of legacy MiG fighter aircraft with 106 upgraded indigenous Tejas jets.
The upgraded fleet of Tejas Mark 1-A is also set to be delivered by HAL within a span of about seven years.
The move is part of the South-Asian nation’s ongoing efforts to indigenously produce technically efficient aircraft.
Last week, the Indian MoD signed an agreement with France’s Dassault Aviation to supply 36 Rafale combat aircrafts for IAF.