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Russian engine for Indian jet trainer

By Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW, NOV. 13. Russia will supply engines for an IAF intermediate jet trainer (IJT), a Russian defence industry official has said.

A contract for the supply of Al-55 engines for the HJT-36 will be signed before the end of the year, the head of an aircraft engine-building company said in an interview. Under the contract, NPO Saturn will supply $200 million worth of engines and sell a $30-million licence for the manufacture of the engines at HAL, Yuri Lastochkin, co-owner and chief executive officer of the company, told the Vedomosti business daily. He said the engine, specially designed for HJT, was being assembled.

NPO Saturn beat Snecma of France for the IJT engine contract. The Russian engine costs about $1 million a piece, far lower than the French quotation. The HJT-36, which is to replace the ageing HJT-16 Kiran basic jet trainer, made its maiden flight last year with a Snecma Larzac engine.

India may also buy another Russian jet engine, Al-33, to re-equip the IAF's fleet of 165 MiG-27 fighters built under Russian license, Russian defence experts have said. The engine is undergoing trial tests at the Salyut engine-building company.

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