India-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is exploring plans to produce 100 Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) basic trainer aircraft. Production of the aircraft is expected to begin after completing spin tests over the coming months. The HTT-40 is intended to replace the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) existing fleet of HPT-32 Deepak trainers. The aircraft has been designed for basic flight training, aerobatics, instrument flying and close-formation flights, whereas its secondary roles will include navigation and night-flying. This fixed-wing aircraft has a bubble canopy, T-tail configuration and a retractable tricycle landing gear system with a steerable nose wheel. With a maximum take-off weight of 2,800kg, the trainer can be configured to carry a gun, rockets and bombs to perform light combat and counter-insurgency missions. HAL CMD T Suvarna Raju said: “Given our large number of platforms with Indian Defence Forces, we remain committed to increase the scope of work to our vendors to ensure success of our programmes.” The company has invited global vendors to participate in its future projects during a meeting held on 12 December. More than 80 business partners from India and abroad participated at HAL’s 5th Global Vendors’ Meet. The vendors were briefed about procurement procedures and improvements made by HAL. The company is expected to achieve basic certification of the light utility helicopter (LUH) by mid-2018.