In an interesting turn of events, Lockheed Martin has offered to transfer the technology of its new supersonic jet trainer. The company has been permitted by the US administration to collaborate with Indian companies for development of flight simulators and flight control systems. In 1998, it had called off a project for joint development of the flight control software for indigenous light combat aircraft, following Pokhran.
The IAF proposes to acquire 66 AJTs, 22 of which will be purchased outright while the rest will be manufactured under license by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The deal will end the two-decade-long wait for a trainer that would facilitate a transition to supersonic combat aircraft of the MiG series as well as Jaguars, Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi 30 MK-1.