The Defence Ministry on Tuesday said the production of HTT-40 trainer aircraft that would replace the Indian Air Force's HPT-32 Deepak as a basic trainer was in "advanced stage" and the aircraft is likely to be certified fit to fly by December 2018.
The maiden flight of the second prototype (PT-2) of the basic trainer aircraft (HTT-40) was "successfully completed" on May 19 this year "without any glitch", Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
"The aircraft flew for one hour carrying out important manoeuvres, touching altitude of 20,000 ft and maximum speed of 185 kmph," Bhamre said.
"The project is in advanced stage of development. Two prototypes have been developed and produced till date and both prototypes are under flight trials."
He said one more prototype would be manufactured to further speed up the development process and its manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), aimed "to get the aircraft certified by December 2018 which will be followed by series production".
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of 70 Basic Trainer Aircraft from HAL in February 2015.
HAL has planned to set up facility for manufacturing of 15-20 aircraft per annum. The aircraft is funded by HAL with its own resources.
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