New Delhi:- With the indigenous Intermediary Jet Trainer (IJT) nowhere in sight, the Indian Air Force has been forced to adopt a new training process under which rookie pilots will train on two aircraft rather than three at present, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said today.
Under the new programme, pilots will now be trained on Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer and Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk aircraft, Raha said.
Kiran, the intermediary jet trainer used currently, will be phased out in the next two-three years.
Raha said as of now ten cadets are being trained on Pilatus and the results are “extremely encouraging”.
“With the induction of PC7, almost 75 of them with 38 more on the way, and as you get the HTT 40, indigenously prepared by the HAL for the BTA (Basic Trainer Aircraft) role, we will be well on our way in making up the deficiencies in pilot training.
“We are getting a few more AJT (Advanced Jet Trainer) Hawk aircraft and the training of amateur pilots will meet our requirements in the future,” Raha said.
“Having said that, we don’t have the IJT, which is supposed to be indigenously built and supposed to replace Kiran which is going to retire in about two-three years time.
Since the replacement is not coming, we are already working on a three-stages two-aircraft programme. The scheme has already been put in place,” Raha said.
The HJT-16 Kiran is an Indian two-seat Intermediate Jet Trainer built by Hindustan Aeronautics.
Last year, the CAG had slammed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for the 14-year delay in developing the intermediate jet trainer (IJT). The audit watchdog came down heavily on HAL for “adversely affecting” the Stage-II training of IAF pilots – who are forced to train on obsolete and ageing Kiran aircraft – by failing to deliver the Sitara IJT till now.
The Chief of Air Staff was addressing the media ahead of the 83rd Anniversary of the Indian Air Force. .
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