HAL HJT-16 Kiran

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HJT-16 Kiran
U2484 HAL HJT-16 Kiran Indian Air Force ( Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team ) (8414605364).jpg
A HAL Kiran Mk II of the Surya Kiran at the runway of the Yelahanka Air Force Base.
Role Intermediate jet trainer
National origin India
Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
First flight 4 September 1964
Introduction 1968
Status In Service
Primary users Indian Air Force
Indian Navy
Produced 1964 -1989
Number built 190

The HAL HJT-16 Kiran ("Ray of light") is an Indian two-seat intermediate jet trainer built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It is used by the Indian Air Force for intermediate training of pilots trained on basic trainer jets HPT-32 Deepak and Pilatus PC-7. It is used by the Indian naval aerobatic team Sagar Pawan and was also used by the Indian Air Force aerobatic team Surya Kiran until February 2011, when the team was disbanded after its HJT-16 Mk I and Mk II aircraft were diverted to train fighter pilots.

The Defence Ministry is expected to place an order for 20 Hawk Mk132 aircraft with HAL in late 2015 to give the Surya Kiran dedicated aircraft.[1]


In December 2018, India donated six Kirans to Myanmar.[2]


A HAL Kiran Mark II on static display.

The Kiran was designed to meet an Indian air force requirement for an intermediate jet trainer. The first aircraft powered by the Rolls Royce Viper Mk 11 was flown for the first time on 4 September 1964.[3] The production aircraft was designated "Kiran I", and first pre-production deliveries were made to the Indian Air Force in March 1968. Later production aircraft were fitted with hardpoints under each wing for weapon training and redesignated as "Kiran IA". A total of 190 Mk I and 1A aircraft were built.[3] An uprated version powered by a 4,200 lbf (19,000 N) thrust Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engine and enhanced weapon-carrying capability was designated "Kiran II", which first flew on 30 July 1976,[4] and deliveries commenced in 1985 with 61 delivered by the time production ended in 1989.[5]

Notable accidents[edit]

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.[6]


Kiran Mk I
Two-seat intermediate jet trainer powered by a Rolls-Royce Viper turbo-jet engine. 118 built.[7][8]
Kiran Mk IA
Two-seat intermediate jet trainer with armament capability. Two underwing hardpoints fitted. 72 built.[7][8]
Kiran Mk II
Improved version with four hardpoints and integral twin 7.62 mm machine guns in nose and a Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engine.[4][5]



Specification (Kiran IA)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83 [7]

General characteristics



  • 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]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ "For Surya Kiran aerobatics team, IAF set to purchase 20 Hawks". The Indian Express. 26 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b "To counter Chinese clout, India to gift 6 HAL Kiran jet trainers to Myanmar". www.timesnownews.com. 1 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Taylor 1982, p.92.
  4. ^ a b Taylor 1988, p.98.
  5. ^ a b Donald and Lake 1996, p.201.
  6. ^ BBC News -India Navy plane crashes at air show, killing pilots
  7. ^ a b c Taylor 1982, pp. 92–93.
  8. ^ a b Donald and Lake 1996, p.200.
  9. ^ a b "Pilatus PC-7 gives boost to IAF Academy". The Hindu. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  • 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.