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HJT-16 (Hindustan Jet Trainer) Kiran
Three HAL Kiran Mk II of the Surya Kiran in 2007
Role Basic Jet Trainer
Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics
First flight 4 September 1964
Introduction 1968
Status In Service
Primary users Indian Air Force
Indian Navy
Number built 190

The HAL HJT-16 Kiran (Ray of Light) is an Indian two-seat basic jet trainer built by Hindustan Aeronautics. Used by the Indian Air Force for intermediate training for pilots trained on the HPT-32 Deepak. It is used by the Indian Air Force aerobatic team Surya Kiran and Indian naval aerobatic team Sagar Pawans.

Development[edit | edit source]

The Kiran was designed to meet an Indian air force requirement for a basic jet trainer. The first aircraft powered by the Rolls Royce Viper Mk 11 was flown for the first time on 4 September 1964.[1] The production aircraft was designated the Kiran I, and first deliveries from a pre-production batch were delivered to the Indian Air Force in March 1968. Later production aircraft were fitted with hardpoints under each wing for weapon training (as the Kiran IA. A total of 190 Mk I and 1A aircraft were built.[1] An improved version powered by a 4,200 lbf (19,000 N) thrust Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engine and improved weapon-carrying capability was designated the Kiran II, first flying on 30 July 1976,[2] and was delivered from 1985, 61 being delivered by the time production ended in 1989.[3] During this period there was a pilot killed during landing - the investigation found that the plane was fitted with 'expired' wheels from Dunlop; the shelf life for them was 20 years, and to no surprise they burst on landing claiming the life of the test pilot.

Replacement[edit | edit source]

Kiran will be replaced with the new HAL HJT-36 trainer undergoing flight trials. The Indian Air Force has already placed orders for 12 such aircraft to replace the Kiran jets used by the Surya Kiran team.

Notable accidents[edit | edit source]

A Kiran Mk II of the Sagar Pawan Aerobatic Team of the Indian Navy crashed at Hyderabad during the Indian Aviation 2010 air show on 3 March 2010, killing both crewmembers.[4]

Variant[edit | edit source]

Kiran Mk.I
Two-seat basic jet trainer powered by a Rolls-Royce Viper turbo-jet engine. 118 built.[5][6]
Kiran Mk.IA
Two-seat basic jet trainer with armament capability. Two underwing hardpoints fitted. 72 built.[5][6]
Kiran Mk.II
Improved version with four hardpoints and integral twin 7.62 mm machine guns in nose and a Rolls-Royce Orpheus engine.[2][3]

Operators[edit | edit source]


Specification (Kiran IA)[edit | edit source]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83 [5]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 10.60 m (34 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.70 m (35 ft 1¼ in)
  • Height: 3.64 m (11 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 19.00 m² (204.5 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,560 kg (5,644 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 4,235 kg (9,336 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Viper turbojet, 11.12 kN (2,500 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 695 km/h (375 knots, 432 mph) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 324 km/h (175 knots, 201 mph)
  • Stall speed: 145 km/h (92 knots, 106 mph) flaps and landing gear down
  • Endurance: 1 hour 45 min
  • Service ceiling: 30,000 ft (9,150 m)


  • 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
  • See also[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. 1.0 1.1 Taylor 1982, p.92.
    2. 2.0 2.1 Taylor 1988, p.98.
    3. 3.0 3.1 Donald and Lake 1996, p.201.
    4. BBC News -India Navy plane crashes at air show, killing pilots
    5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Taylor 1982, pp. 92–93.
    6. 6.0 6.1 Donald and Lake 1996, p.200.
    • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
    • Donald, David; Jon Lake (1996). Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft (Single volume ed.). London: Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-874023-95-6. 
    • Taylor, John W. R. (1982). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83. London: Jane's Yearbooks. ISBN 0-7106-0748-2. 
    • Taylor, John W. R. (1988). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Defence Data. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5. 

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