HAL Kiran

The HAL HJT-16 Kiran (Ray of Light) is an Indian two-seat intermediate 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 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 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-built Surya Kiran 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.

HAL Kiran
Class Aircraft
Type Trainer
Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics
Origin India
Country Name Origin Year
India 1964
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
India 1968 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Hindustan Aeronautics 190 View

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. The production aircraft was designated the 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 the Kiran IA. A total of 190 Mk I and 1A aircraft were built. An uprated version powered by a 4,200 lbf (19,000 N) thrust Bristol Siddeley Orpheus engine and enhanced weapon-carrying capability was designated the Kiran II, which first flew on 30 July 1976, and deliveries commenced in 1985 with 61 delivered by the time production ended in 1989. During this period a pilot was killed during landing—the investigation found that the aircraft was fitted with 'expired' wheels from Dunlop whose shelf life was normally limited to 20 years.


Kiran will be retired and the Indian Air Force will move to a two tiered training system instead of the current three tiered system. The planned replacement HAL HJT-36 Sitara failed to meet the performance and safety standards and is indefinitely on hold.


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

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

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

End notes