'IJT crash hampered initial operation clearance process'

'IJT crash hampered initial operation clearance process'

An IJT prototype(S-3466) had crashed in April while performing a sortie near Lakshmipuram in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, making it the third crash for the family of aircraft since 2007.

HAL had, after the crash, set up a probe committee, but had refused to divulge any information about the status of the report or on the implications of the crash.

Repair of aircraft

Naik said: “The IJT was scheduled for the IOC in July, but we will have to see if they (HAL) can sort out the problems and repair the aircraft for the same.”

The committee probing into the matter, he said, is in the final stages and that the report will be submitted soon. He admitted that this is surely going to cause another  delay in the clearance process.

Earlier HAL chairman Ashok Nayak had said: “We cannot give a timeline on the probe... And I cannot comment on the IOC.” HAL Executive Director (HR) had maintained that he had no information.

A long wait

This would mean that the IAF has to wait longer for the induction of the trainer which it has already been waiting for long.

The IJT programme has already seen a delay of over half decade (it was sanctioned in 1999), derailing IAF’s plans of replacing its ageing trainers, which are the backbone of the force.

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