Aviation & Aerospace Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks U.S. Military Pay Special Forces DoD Dictionary (Alpha-to-Zulu) Military Alphabet Code

HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star)

Intermediate Jet Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft

India | 2024

"In development since 1999, the Indian Air Force and Navy are anxiously awaiting their new Intermediate Jet Trainer."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/25/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Indian military industry has worked towards breaking free of the reliance on foreign suppliers through indigenous designs - some proving successful, some not. When the time came to upgrade its fleet of intermediate jet trainers - this currently being the HAL Kiran of 1960s vintage - the Indian military establishment looked to HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) once more and this endeavor has produced the emerging HJT-36 "Sitara". While still in development as of March 2014, with certification expected sometime in 2014, the Sitara is showcased to become the next intermediate jet trainer for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy. The HJT-36 was originally planned to begin service in 2012.

The HJT-36 holds origins in a 1997 initiative which produced a contract for two prototypes in 1999. A first flight was recorded on March 7th, 2003. Since then, the program has been met with several delays and high profile incidences. The Indian Air Force, however, remained steadfast on the product and eventually requested 73 of the type. Full rate production was itself delayed and final operational clearance is now expected for December of 2014. Quantitative production is set to begin shortly thereafter. Several major revisions have since taken place to iron out deficiencies encountered in the original design.

The intermediate jet trainer is an important facet of pilot training for the Indian Air Force (and Navy). It is the essential "bridging if the gap" between basic training and advanced training and serves to educate incoming aviators on the nuances of the highly complex modern aircraft. Indeed, nearly half of all IAF crashes since 1970 have been attributed to pilot error and little else.

Design of the HJT-36 is highly conventional with student and instructor cockpits arranged in tandem. Both cockpits are given ejection seats as standard and sit behind a shallow and low nose cone while given a oversized canopy for excellent vision around the aircraft. The single engine installation is buried within the fuselage and exhausts through a small port under the tail. Aspiration is through two small, half-moon openings to either side of the aft cockpit. The empennage consists of a single vertical tail fin coupled with a pair of low-set horizontal planes. The wings are low-mounted at the fuselage sides with sweep along their leading edges and their tips being clipped. The undercarriage is a traditional tricycle arrangement with the main legs sporting single wheels and the nose leg of a dual-wheel design. All are wholly retractable.

The aircraft is powered by the Russian NPO Saturn AL-55I turbofan engine which supplies up to 4,550lbs of thrust while not featuring afterburn capability. Maximum speed is 620 miles per hour with a range out to 620 miles and service ceiling up to 30,000 feet.

Beyond the base intermediate trainer, the IAF is entertaining a light attack version which would feature support for rocket and gun pods as well as conventional drop bombs. There are five expected hardpoints including four underwing.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

March 2003 - The HJT-36 prototype recorded its first flight on March 7th, 2003.

December 2013 - HAL announced that its HJT-36 was just weeks away from achieving certification.

February 2014 - The Indian Ministry of Defense reports that the HJT-36 program has logged in more than 800 test flights to date.

January 2014 - The Indian Air Force formally asked the Ministry of Defence to procure a foreign intermediate jet trainer due to the progress (or lack thereof) seen in the HJT-36 program. 2014 marks fifteen years since the HJT-36 program began.

March 2017 - The HJT-36 program continues to be delayed, particularly with unresolved stall and spin characteristics that are yet to be resolved.

April 2019 - The HJT-36, in a refined form, has flown in an effort to resolve ongoing flight issues.

November 2020 - After revision, the HJT-36 prototype has re-entered flight-testing concerning spin characteristics.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star) Intermediate Jet Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft.
1 x NPO Saturn AL-55I non-afterburning turbofan engine developing 4,500 lb of thrust.
528 mph
850 kph | 459 kts
Max Speed
29,528 ft
9,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
621 miles
1,000 km | 540 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star) Intermediate Jet Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft.
36.1 ft
11.00 m
O/A Length
32.8 ft
(10.00 m)
O/A Width
13.5 ft
(4.10 m)
O/A Height
10,141 lb
(4,600 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star) Intermediate Jet Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft .
1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun pod
4 x 57mm rocket pods underwing OR Conventional drop bombs.
Notable series variants as part of the HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star) family line.
HJT-36 - Base Series Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 16 Units

Contractor(s): Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - India
National flag of India

[ India (probable) ]
1 / 1
Image of the HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Going Further...
The HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Star) Intermediate Jet Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)