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New Indian supersonic trainer jet to supplement PC-7 and Hawk fleets

15th February 2023 - 14:30 GMT | by Rahul Bedi in Delhi


The HLFT-42 will be powered by either a US GE F404 or Indian Kaveri turbofan, and its configuration bears a strong resemblance to the 1960s-vintage HF-24 Marut fighter-bomber. (Image: HAL)

The Indian Air Force has abandoned plans to acquire a two-seat trainer variant of the Tejas Mk 1 Light Combat Aircraft, opting instead for the HAL HLFT-42 supersonic jet.

India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has unveiled a full-scale model of the tandem-seat single-engine Hindustan Lead-in Fighter Trainer-42 (HLFT-42) it is developing to instruct future Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots operating fourth- and fifth-generation fighters.

Displayed at Aero India 2023, the 16m long and 4.6m high HLFT-42 is likely to be powered by either General Electric F404 turbofans or the indigenous GTX-35VS Kaveri engine, under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation since the 1990s, HAL sources said.

Conceived in 2017, the proposed Next-gen Supersonic Trainer-fighter would be fitted with locally developed active electronically scanned array radar, EW

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Rahul Bedi


Rahul Bedi

Rahul Bedi is a New Delhi-based journalist reporting for over 30 years on strategic, military, and security …

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