15 SARAS Mk2 Order Commitment by Indian Air Force 23 February, 2018

India’s indigenous light transport aircraft SARAS has successfully completed a test flight on 21 February, Indian Ministry of Science & Technology announced.

This was the second of the 20 test flights planned for SARAS PT1N. The first successful test was carried out on 24 January 2018. According to National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), which carries out design and development of the aircraft, the production model design is expected to be ready by June-July this year. 

The project was dumped by the previous government, after an accident during a test flight in 2009. After the project was revived by the present government, NAL has incorporated design modifications and improvements on the SARAS PT 1 model, like 2x1200 shp engines and 104-inch diameter propeller assembles to cater to second segment climb gradient requirements, improved flight control system, rudder area, main wheel and brakes to cater to 7100 kg AUV, indigenously developed stall warning system, etc. 

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been identified as the production agency for the military version of SARAS. The Indian Air Force has committed to ordering an initial batch of 15 SARAS Mk 2 twin turboprop aircraft, which it will use for liaison as well as maritime patrol and other support missions. 

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