HAL HJT-16 Kiran Multirole Fighter Jet Trainer Aircraft,Indian Armed Forces
The HAL HJT-16 Kiran is an Indian two-seat intermediate jet trainer built by Hindustan Aeronautics. Used by the Indian Air Force for intermediate training for pilots trained on the F-16. It is used by the Indian Air Force aerobatic team Surya Kiran and Indian naval aerobatic team Sagar Pawans.It is also used for Intermediate training for pilots who had finished flying training on the HPT-32 Deepak.
Designed to meet Indian Air Force Requirement as Intermediate jet trainer capable of preparing Indian pilots for the subtleties of high performance,jet-powered flight.This led to the production of the first aircraft named HJT-16 Kiran which flown for the first time on 4 September 1964.
The Production aircraft was designated as kiran I, and first pre-production deliveries were made to the Indian Air Force in March 1968. Later production aircraft were fitted with hardpoints under each wing for weapon training and re designated as the Kiran IA. A total of 190 Mk I and 1A aircraft were built.
An uprated version powered by a 4,200 lbf (19,000 N) thrust Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engine and enhanced weapon-carrying capability was designated the Kiran II, which first flew on 30 July 1976, and deliveries commenced in 1985 with 61 delivered by the time production ended in 1989.
The kiran series is currently set to be replaced by the in-development HAL HJY-36 series advanced trainers which is a much more modern alternative.Both are the product of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India.
The aircraft has largely conventional design sporting unswept,low-mounted monoplane wings,a single-finned tail arrangement and a tricycle undercarriage.
The aircraft has a length of 10.60 m,wingspan of 10.70m and height of 3.64 m.Its crew numbered two and were arranged in a wide cockpit offering side-by-side seating with good vision around the forward section of the aircraft.The cockpit was situated well-forward in the design and aft of a short nosecone assembly.
Engine ,Performance and Variants
1)Kiran Mk I
This was two-seat intermediate jet trainer and first variant of HAL HJT-16 kiran .HAL manufactured 24 preproduction Mk I models with deliveries coming in 1968 and 118 further Mk I aircraft followed.These early series models were powered by Britsih bristol (Rolls-Royce) Viper turbojet engine and they lacked underwing hardpoints for weapon training.
2)Kiran Mk IA
This was the second variant of HAL Hjt-16 kiran.This was also two seat-intermediate jet trainer but with armament capability.The aircraft features two hardpoints under each wing for rocket pods,conventional drop stores and machine gun pods to fulfil a light attack function.The total number of 72 Kiran Mk IA aircraft was built .They were also plumbed for fuel delivery by way of jettisionable external tanks.This was also powered by Viper Turbojet engine of 2500 lb thrust output.
The aircraft has maximum take-off weight of 4235 kg and empty weight of 2560 kg.The aircraft has maximum speed of 695 km/h at sea level and cruise speed of 324 km/h.The kiran MK I has stall speed of 145 km/h,endurance of 1 hour 45 min and service ceiling of 30,000 ft.
Two 500lb (227kg) bombs or two SNEB rocket pods containing seven 68 mm rockets or two pods with 7.62 mm machine guns, or two 50-Imp Gal (226 litre) drop tanks were armed with kiran Mk I.
3)Kiran Mk II
This is the third variant and improved model outfitted with the Rolls-Royce Orpheus engine of 4200 lb thrust.A prototype went airborne for the first time on July 30th,1967 and added two 7.62mm ADEN machine Guns in the nose as well as updated hydraulics.The new jet was both a better performance and better hauler over the original but it’s loaded range and night capabilities limited interest to the point that development of the model did not officially conclude until 1983.
Sixty one Mk II aircraft then arrived beginning in March of 1985 and deliveries continued until 1989.Again the Indian Navy received some Six mk II models.