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`Indigenous AJT a must for future'

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, JUNE 19. The country should develop its own advanced jet trainer (AJT) and if the work is started now it could be ready for flying in the next 15 years, replacing the British-built Hawk that are likely to be inducted in two years, the Indian Air Force chief, S. Krishnaswamy, said here today.

Talking to newsmen after reviewing the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy at Dundigal, the Air Chief Marshal said 66 Hawks were being brought and the next two batches of the pilot trainees would be sent to Britain for training while they get inducted. It was his belief that even these AJTs should be replaced in two decades.

With the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited completing the second prototype flight of the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), the jet was likely to be inducted into the IAF in two to three years. "It is a beautiful machine," he said. With IJT as the base, an indigenous AJT could be planned and developed by adding another engine and making wing modifications.

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