NEW DELHI: The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) unveiled the scale model of the Hindustan Lead-in Fighter Trainer (HLFT-42), at the 14th edition of Aero India held in Bengaluru on Monday.
Talking to the newspaper, HAL test pilot Group Captain HV Thakur (Retd) said that HLFT-42 will be similar to the recently approved projects like the LCA MK II and eventually the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). It should have similar sensors and weapons. Obviously, the simulators and simulations should be of that capability as well,” he said.
The aircraft has a unique tail art of the Hindu God Maruti, symbolizing strength, speed, and agility, according to HAL. With the tagline “the storm is coming”, HLFT-42 is the ‘Next Gen Supersonic Trainer’ that will play a “critical role” in modern combat aircraft training with state-of-the-art avionics like Active Electronically Scanned Array, Electronic Warfare Suite, Infrared Search and Track with Fly by Wire control system, the HAL said.
With the tagline “the storm is coming”, HLFT-42 is the ‘Next Gen Supersonic Trainer’ that will play a “critical role” in modern combat aircraft training with state-of-the-art avionics like Active Electronically Scanned Array, Electronic Warfare Suite, Infrared Search and Track with Fly by Wire control system, the HAL said.
According to the HAL, the HLFT-42 trainer, which is aimed at preparing fighter pilots to comprehensively for the fifth-generation aircraft, incorporates an ultra-modern training suite, enabling hyper-real combat situations to train pilots in a perfectly safe, standardised and efficient flying environment.
AMCA is a project to develop the fifth-generation fighters. Also, the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is another project to develop an advance maritime fighter to be based on Indian air craft carriers. The projected timelines for their development are end of this decade or early 2030s.
“To fill today’s needs and for tomorrow’s aircraft like the Light Combat Aircraft Mark II, we have to have a very high-performance trainer to go along with them. The trainer needs to have similar capabilities. As a leading fighter trainer, it is very efficiently made. It will do exactly the same task that it is supposed to. The trainer will be very similar to the fighter aircraft of the next generation,” the Group Captain (Retd) said.
The IAF pilots are trained on three levels - the basic trainer, the intermediate trainer and the advanced trainer. The basic trainer is for all kinds of pilots, including the helicopter. In advanced are the AJT or the Hawk-I of the HAL kind of aircraft that trains the fighter pilots to learn how to manoeuvre the aircraft; it never goes supersonic, never does any missile firing, does not have sensors, does not have a radar or a infrared search and track (IRST) system.