Six months following the Ministry of Defence’s agreement to a Rs 6,800-crore contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the procurement of 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), production is yet to commence. HAL is currently awaiting full airworthiness certification from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).
Government sources have disclosed that the aircraft has received provisional airworthiness clearance; however, it comes with several “critical limitations” as per CEMILAC’s assessment. HAL is actively engaged in the process of securing complete certification.
CEMILAC, operating under the purview of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), is responsible for granting airworthiness certification for all military aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, aero-engines, and other air-launched weaponry.
A HAL source stated, “The aircraft (HTT-40) is yet to be certified against the Air Staff Quality Requirements (ASQR) mandated by the IAF. The draft ‘Release to Service Document’ has been submitted to the Regional Centre of Military Airworthiness (RCMA). We anticipate clearance by October 2023.”
This delay in certification underscores the ongoing challenges faced in the aircraft’s readiness for service with the Indian Air Force.