|A model of the HTT-40 on display at HAL pavilion at DefExpo 2014|
An HAL rep told IDP Sentinel at the DefExpo that HAL is committed to obtain certification for the aircraft within 3-year of project sanction.
The aircraft will be powered by a Garret TPE 331-12 turboprop. HAL in 2009 tied up with Honeywell to manufacture the engine in India for international markets.
HAL has been manufacturing, repairing and overhauling the Garret TPE-5 for international clients under license from Honeywell since 1988. Besides many other aircraft, the engine also powers HAL manufactured Dornier DO-228 aircraft.
The TPE-331-12B powers the Short Tucano basic trainer of the RAF. The engine has a power output of 1,100 shp (820 kW).
|HTT-40 at Aero India 2013|
The Max T/O weight of the HTT-40 is < 2,800-kg, It has a range of 1,000-km, service ceiling of 6-km, G limit of +6 to -3 and a normal operating speed of 400 kph. The aircraft will feature modern avionics and zero-zero ejection seats.
Assuming that the TPE 331-12 engine is only marginally different from the 331-12B, HTT-40 performance figures don't compare well with those of the Short Tucano.
HAL proposes to develop a weaponized version of the HTT-40, which may tip the scales in favor of the aircraft over Pilatus PC-7 Mk-2 in MOD, the IAF's skepticism not withstanding.
The GOI sanctioned the purchase of 181 basic trainers to replace HPT-32's following their grounding in July 2009. Following global bidding, GOI approved procurement of 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk-2 aircraft in May 2012. Pilattus on May 24, 2012 announced that it had signed a 500 million Swiss Franc contract with the IAF to supply 75 PC-7 Mk-2.
HAL wants to meet the residual order of 106 basic trainers with its HTT-40 aircraft, instead of locally producing more Pilatu PC-7 Mk-2 at its facilities in India, but the IAF doesn't want to strain its resources by inducting another aircraft type. It is also wary of HAL's ability to deliver, following the HPT-32 experience. In view of HAL's reluctance to manufacture the aircraft, the IAF in early 2014 proposed manufacturing the Pilatus at its own facilities.
HTT-40 Basic Flying Trainer (IDP Sentinel)