Shadow Over India's Intermediate Jet Trainer

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Ganesh2691, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Ganesh2691

    Ganesh2691 Regular Member

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    There's trouble in India's indigenous HAL intermediate jet trainer HJT-36 Sitara programme, and it's been brewing for a while now. First, the facts:

    In an interview this week to AINOnline, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne is quoted to have said, "We are concerned as we are not seeing significant progress on the IJT. HAL put in a dedicated design team, yet there are no results. This is a training aircraft and we cannot compromise on safety." He also indicates in the interview that issues that continue to dog the IJT programme include "controls, engines and the aircraft’s weight, stall and spin characteristics".

    The HJT-36 was to have entered service with the IAF in June this year as a Stage-II trainer, replacing the ageing HAL Kiran Mk.1/2s in service. But with trials still on to prove the platform as a robust training jet (one prototype crashed during spin tests in April last year), it is unlikely that the IJT will be accorded initial operational clearance (IOC) -- its immediate goal -- anytime soon. Optimistically, it could be towards the end of next year, but likely later. The IAF has on order 85 IJTs (12 LSPs and 73 production series aircraft).

    Earlier this year, rumours swirled that the programme was on the edge of being scrapped altogether amidst its inability to deliver performance results to the IAF -- rumours that were quickly dispelled, albeit unofficially, by the IAF and HAL. But there are real situations the IAF needs to now plan for, and the IAF chief's interview (linked above) point to these.

    Next year, the IAF will have no choice but to begin retiring most of its HAL Kiran Stage-II trainers. But with the IJT nowhere near entering service at that time, the IAF may be faced with a difficult choice -- (a) push its Kirans further, (b) juggle its training syllabus once again to make up for the lack of Stage-II training (like it has now with the absence of basic trainers) or, perhaps the most difficult/undesirable option for it, (c) acquire intermediate trainer jets from abroad. To be sure, this last option hasn't been lost on the global market.

    Sources say the US Government has initiated (or plans to initiate) discussions with India over the possibility of a joint development that may have something to do with the now delayed Northrop T-38 Talon replacement programme, the T-X. I also hear Russia's Rosoboronexport is looking to brief the IAF on the Yak-130 jet trainer -- indeed, it has even begun advertising the aircraft in Indian trade journals.

    This is not a healthy situation: from 2014, India's training arsenal will almost entirely comprise foreign aircraft -- the Pilatus PC-7 Mk.II for basic propeller training and the BAE Hawk Mk.132 for lead-in advanced jet training. At this point, it remains unclear what Indian pilot cadets will undergo crucial intermediate training on.

    Livefist: Shadow Over India's Intermediate Jet Trainer
     
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    What a pain!!! Even trainers are delayed.
     
  4. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    why what are the problems plaguing IJT? can anybody list out?
    from livefist article I could make out:
    1. over weight...is the Engine is the cause? initial prototype flew with French LarZac Engines. later changed to Russian Saturn NPO's Engine AL-55I which is derivative of AL-31FP? why the Engine has been changed? A time pf two years was lost.
    2. Spin recovery test failed. As per CAS statement above article IJT is grappling with Controls, engines and the aircraft’s weight, stall and spin characteristics issues." So how much of the a/c requires re-design?
    3. why don't we take the help of EADS,YAK or LM ,BAe help to solve tech issues,if we can hire consultants and consultancy is readily available. I doubt EADS and Russians are going to give any guidance because they are ready to milk with their products..
     
  5. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Venkat can you find out some of the reasons internally, managers, colleagues?
     
  6. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    I can find out externally through manager friends and friends colleagues:namaste: but the problem is I cant post them here...what i wanted to know what could be the remedies through you, your friendly debater ersakthivel!!!! some kind of open discussions /opinions from experts if possible.


    IJT Problems Add to Indian Air Force Training Woes
    AIN Defense Perspective » October 5, 2012
    by Neelam Mathews
    October 5, 2012, 11:55 AM

    The delay in development of India’s intermediate jet trainer (IJT) by government-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has the Indian Air Force (IAF) worried, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne told AIN in an exclusive interview. The HAL HJT-36 is intended to replace the aging fleet of Kiran Mk II jet trainers in the IAF by 2015.



    Since the start of design work in 1997, the IJT program has suffered three accidents, delaying its initial operational capability (IOC). When HAL displayed the first two IJT prototypes at the Paris Air Show in June 2005, it said that certification would follow in 2007. “We are concerned as we are not seeing significant progress on the IJT. HAL put in a dedicated design team, yet there are no results. This is a training aircraft and we cannot compromise on safety,” said Browne.

    Issues remain on controls, engines and the aircraft’s weight, stall and spin characteristics, Browne said. This was confirmed to AIN by HAL design director T. Suvaranaraju, who said, “We have had a setback…four aircraft are in flight mode. We will recover the lost time.”

    The IJT is supposed to be a stage-II trainer to be used before pilots graduate to the BAE Hawk Mk 132 advanced jet trainer. The IAF ordered 123 of these under two contracts, and another 20 are likely to be acquired to replace the Kirans that are flown by the IAF’s aerobatic team.

    The IAF recently ordered 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk II basic trainers and took options on another 106 to be license-built by HAL, after its obsolescent, HAL-built piston-engine HPT-32 basic trainers were grounded. “The loss of 17 aircraft and 19 pilots had resulted in pilots losing confidence in the safety and performance of the aircraft,” a defense official said on condition of anonymity.

    The IAF has stationed its own personnel at HAL to monitor the development of the IJT. A consultancy with BAE Systems is also in the process of being signed, says Browne.

    The IAF has a requirement for 181 basic trainers, along with 85 IJTs and 106 AJTs.

    copyright AINONLINE
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  7. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The information is too vague. Actually I have never followed the IJT history at all.

    I just read whatever is posted on the forum.

    Naturally we need someone on the inside to write a book about it. That's how we civilians get info.
     
  8. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Yeah. That's the problem.

    Haha! No thanks.

    Not with a guy who thinks air combat is like this,
    [​IMG]
     
  9. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Feeling of HAL National self-sufficiency sounds like a great idea, but it leads to com--plac-ency, high costs, poor product development choices, and inferior, expensive products this is where PVT players come in but ur PVT industry is not still up to the mark need a long way to go
     
  10. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is quite natural for a developing country to have such kind of delay problems!
    Simply put: no experience-from project management to detailed parts production. The problems india is facing today are the exact ones Chinese working on 20 years ago.
     
  11. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    IAF plans engineering college in Bangalore | idrw.org

    Hmm. Looks like an emergency purchase due to Sitara's delays.
     

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