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Author Topic: IJT delivery schedule goes awry  (Read 4847 times)

Offline tigershark

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IJT delivery schedule goes awry
« on: March 18, 2008, 02:04:31 AM »
IJT delivery schedule goes awry

HAL received order for 12 Limited Series Production aircraft

Flying tests of the aircraft yet to begin

BANGALORE: The delay in developing a new Russian engine (AL-551) that will power the indigenous intermediate jet trainer (IJT) has resulted in the aircraft’s delivery schedules going awry.

As per the original schedule, the first batch of IJTs was to have been delivered to the Air Force in 2005-06. But the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) designed and manufactured trainer aircraft will now not be able to meet even the revised 2007-08 schedule.

Coded the Hindustan Jet Trainer (HJT)-36, HAL received an order for 12 Limited Series Production (LSP) aircraft five years ago.

Sources in HAL told The Hindu that as part of the IJT programme, two AL-551 engines were to have been readied and tested. One was expected to arrive at HAL’s Aircraft Division here for ground integration on the IJT last November, eventually flying the trainer aircraft in July 2008. But it is yet to arrive.

The other engine was to be tested on a flying platform in Russia. Though the task of mounting the engine on the Russian trainer aircraft, MiG-AT, had begun, the flying tests were yet to begin, the sources said.
Crucial tests

The flying tests in Russia are crucial, as only after the new engine is cleared there, it could be used to power the IJTs in India.

The flight test programme in Russia will require the engine to fly the MiG-AT for around 30 hours. This should normally take around three months to complete. A HAL team is expected to visit Russia “once the testing of the new engine is in full swing.”

Meant to be the backbone of the Air Force’s stage II or combat pilot training programme, the IJT, called “Sitara,” was sanctioned by the government in 1999 with an initial budget of Rs. 180 crore.

Making its first flight in March 2003, it is meant to replace the Air Force’s workhorse, HJT-16 or Kiran. Around 225 HJT-36s are to be eventually produced, serving the IAF, the Navy as well as the Air Force’s Surya Kiran aerobatic team.
More powerful engine

Though the two IJT prototypes that have taken to the skies are powered by the French-made Snecma Larzac 04H20 engine, HAL, in conjunction with the Air Force’s air staff requirements, opted in 2005 for a new and more powerful engine (AL-551) that was promised by the Russian aircraft engine designer/manufacturer, NPO-Saturn.

The Russian engine is a scaled-down version of the AL-31FP engine that flies the Su-30 MKI combat aircraft. The AL-551 will power the 12 LSP aircraft and future production models of the IJT.

While the estimated cost of the engine’s development is Rs. 185 crore, over 200 engines are to be eventually produced by HAL at the Koraput (Orissa) plant. HAL now hopes to produce two LSP aircraft in 2008-09 and complete the remaining 10 by 2009-10.


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Re: IJT delivery schedule goes awry
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2008, 03:27:26 AM »
Ah, so that's why they all of sudden need more Hawks.  ;)

What's the Russian incentive to do the AL-55? Shouldn't India have chosen the AL-22-25 (Yak-130 engine) instead? Might not share as much with the AL-31, but at least it will be produced.

I'd say build those 12 LSPs with an improved Larzac, or face LCA-like delays.
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