The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is in the process of developing a 4++ generation trainer aircraft for training Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots to fly the Rafale jet, Bangalore Mirror has reported.
Work on the trainer aircraft known as Supersonic Omni Role Trainer Aircraft (SPORT) has begun and would be used in providing advanced jet training to pilots prior to their induction into squadrons.
As per HAL’s Deputy Chief Test Pilot, this new aircraft based on a light combat frame can both be used in training and during combat.
Under the current training process, the IAF pilots go through basic, intermediate and then advanced level training before being inducted into squadrons.
Incidentally, the current advanced jet training lacks apparatus like Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), Laser Designation Pod (LDP) or laser guided cruise missiles which is equipped in high performance aircraft like Rafale, Mirage 2000 and others.
The SPORT though would be equipped with such features and more. HAL has already completed the preliminary design and the development is expected to begin soon.