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Thursday, February 28, 2013

HJT-16 'Kiran' Aircraft With Its Weapons Complement [Image Of The Day]

An uncommon photograph - India's basic trainer aircraft along with the weapons it can carry on its hardpoints.

The indigenously built 'Kiran' is currently used as the Stage 2 trainer in the Indian Air Force [IAF] & the Navy. Stage I in the IAF is, henceforth, to be performed on the Swiss-built Pilatus PC-7, while Stage 3 training is carried out on the British-built BAE Hawk. Seen in the picture is an unguided rocket pod, which is partially covered by the Carrier Bomb Light Stores Mk200-1A, placed besides the  HJT-16 - the Mark 2 variant. They can be mounted on the 4 hard-points on the aircraft. Seen attached to its hardpoints, here, are drop tanks to carry extra fuel. Besides flight & weapon training, these aircraft could also play a limited role during combat, and could be tasked to perform ground attacks, in absence of enemy air defence.



Built first in the 60s, these aircrafts are planned to be replaced with the HJT-36 'Sitara', Intermediate Jet Trainer [IJT]  aircraft, that the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] is currently developing - a programme that has had its share of setbacks.


Related: IAF's HJT-16 aircraft in Yellow & Red paint scheme [Surya Kiran?]