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HAL HJT-16 Kiran (Ray of Light)

India (1968)
Picture of HAL HJT-16 Kiran (Ray of Light) Intermediate-Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft

The Indian HJT-16 Kiran flew for the first time on September 4th, 1964, and remains in service today - though its replacement is in active development.


Detailing the development and operational history of the HAL HJT-16 Kiran (Ray of Light) Intermediate-Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/3/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Not content with relying on purchase of foreign military goods, the nation of India has long been nurturing an aeronautics industry. This has produced a mixed bag of results which has keep a focus on foreign suppliers, making India the biggest military customer in the world today (2015). However, some programs did in fact yield fruit such as the HAL "Kiran" ("Ray of Light") which became an indigenous two-seat intermediate jet trainer. The type has served through over 200 total examples across the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy since its introduction in 1968. Design work was held out of Bangalore in 1961 and a first flight was had on September 4th, 1964.

The Kiran emerged from an IAF requirement calling for an intermediate/advanced jet trainer capable of preparing Indian pilots for the subtleties of high performance, jet-powered flight. This led to an aircraft of largely conventional design sporting unswept, low-mounted monoplane wings, a single-finned tail arrangement and a tricycle undercarriage. 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. Having passed its tests and evaluation phase, the design was adopted for service under the "Kiran" name with initial models designated "Mk I".

HAL manufactured 24 preproduction Mk I models with deliveries coming in 1968 and 118 further Mk I aircraft followed. These early series models were outfitted with the British Bristol (Rolls-Royce) "Viper" turbojet engine and lacked underwing hardpoints for weapons training. The latter was rectified through the Mk IA which resulted in 72 built to this standard, now featuring two hardpoints under each wing for rocket pods, conventional drop stores and / or machine gun pods to fulfill a light attack function. Additionally, they were plumbed for fuel delivery by way of jettisonable external tanks. Official Indian Air Force Academy service entry of the Mk I was in 1973 and a small stock also fell to the Indian Navy.

As completed, the Mk IA carried the Viper turbojet of 2,500 lb thrust output. Its maximum speed reached 430 miles per hour with cruising speeds being around 200 mph. The listed service ceiling was 30,000 feet.

The Mk II was an improved model outfitted with the Rolls-Royce "Orpheus" engine of 4,200 lb thrust. A prototype went airborne for the first time on July 30th, 1976 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.

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.

Any available statistics for the HAL HJT-16 Kiran (Ray of Light) Intermediate-Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).




General Assessment (BETA)
Firepower  
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Performance  
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Survivability  
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Versatility  
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Impact  
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Rating: 60 (of 100)
The rating is an internal assessment derived from forty factors pertaining to this entry.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (432mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
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  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the HAL HJT-16 Kiran IA's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
203
203


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
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Origin: India
Year: 1968
Type: Intermediate-Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - India
Production: 203
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
India
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the HAL HJT-16 Kiran IA model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
34.78 ft


Meters
10.6 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
35.10 ft


Meters
10.7 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.94 ft


Meters
3.64 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,644 lb


Kilograms
2,560 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
9,337 lb


Kilograms
4,235 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Rolls-Royce Viper turbojet developing 2,500 lb of thrust.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
432 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
695 kph


Knots
375 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
463 mi


Kilometers
745 km


Nautical Miles
402 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
30,020 ft


Meters
9,150 m


Miles
5.69 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

OPTIONAL:
2 x 500 lb conventional drop bombs
2 x SNEB rocket pods (7 x 68mm rockets each)
2 x 7.62mm gun pods
2 x Jettisonable fuel drop tanks

Kiran Mk.II:
2 x 7.62mm ADEN machine guns in nose
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Kiran ("Ray of Light") - Base Series Name
• Kiran Mk.I - Basic trainer fitted with the Rolls-Royce Viper turbojet engine; 24 preproduction models with 118 production examples following.
• Kiran Mk.IA - Armed basic trainer fitted with four underwing hardpoints; 72 examples delivered to this standard.
• Kiran Mk.II - Improved Kiran; fitted with Rolls-Royce Orpheus engine for increased performance; four underwing hardpoints; 2 x nose-mounted 7.62mm ADEN machine guns.