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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

IAF's HF-24 Marut fighter aircraft in desert camouflage pattern [Photograph]

A Twin-seat HF-24 fighter on display, painted in desert cammo pattern.

click on the images to view them in larger-size

Hindustan Fighter [HF-24] Marut - Indian Air Force [IAF]

Hindustan Fighter [HF-24] Marut - Indian Air Force [IAF]

via San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

The aircraft is seen here without an ejection seat in the front - perhaps put up for display while it was in midst of repairs & overhaul at the HAL plant, or a retired airframe.

This twin-seat Marut [D-1695] was the first aircraft type developed in Asia, to be able to fly supersonic. However, owing to an underpowered engine it was fitted with [the Bristol Siddeley Orpheus], the aircraft despite having features comparable to its contemporaries worldwide, India's non-existent industrial base notwithstanding, never quite got to display its full potentials. In the end, it was prematurely retired from service of the Indian Air Force [IAF], owing to the lack of a suitable powerplant.



via daredevilakshay on Flickr

A predicament, not dissimilar to the Marut was also being faced by India's current fighter aircraft development programme - the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas. The revised ASR presented by the IAF in midst of the programme resulted in the indigenous Kaveri engine, being developed by DRDO, being found to be underpowered. So also was the interim General Electric's F404 engine chosen to power the Tejas, while the Kaveri was being developed. As a result, a variant of the 404, with greater thrust, the GE F414, had to be chosen to power the Mark II variants of the aircraft. Recent reports indicate that an agreement worth $600 million USD is close to being signed for GE to supply 99 F-414 engines, with an option to acquire 100 more in the future, if required.


Related: On-Condition Maintenance of Aircrafts: An overview