Threat to HTT-40, HAL moves post-haste to recover
Report / Photo : SP's Special Correspondent
December 29, 2012: Faced with the reported prospect of the HTT-40 basic trainer programme being cancelled even before the aircraft is built, HAL is moving post-haste to move forward on the programme. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly found HAL's programme to be uneconomical, with a per unit price of aircraft nearly double that of the aircraft currently being imported from Switzerland, the PC-7 Mk.II. But sources say HAL is trying desperately now to recover and bounce back as a result of the implications a cancellation would have on its reputation. The company on December 18 began fast-tracking procurement of raw material to build the first prototype.
An RFQ for a list of alloy and metal materials has been sent out to 23 firms in the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Belgium and Austria. A top source at HAL said, "We are in discussions with the MoD. The programme is for a large order of nearly 200 aircraft and therefore it must be saved. We are working to meet the MoD and IAF requirements on performance and cost. Instructions have been issued to put this programme on the fast-track."