What is the wisdom of buying 20 additional modified HAWK AJTs from UK (at a huge cost) exclusively for resurrecting the now disbanded 'SURYAKIRAN' aerobatic display team, which has NO OPERATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE whatsoever. 'SURYAKIRAN' is a 'formation aerobatics display team', meant only to showcase the piloting skills of its team members (chosen from among select experienced IAF pilot/instructors), who practice hard before every show. The HAL-built Intermediate Jet Trainer(IJT-Sitara)could have replaced the phased out Kiran Mk-2s of the team after a couple of years of being inducted into IAF in larger numbers and after proving its safety and reliability, just like the (HJT-16) KIRANs did with the 'SURYAKIRAN' team and DHRUV (ALH) with the 'SARANG' team. That would have also showcased the home grown IJT (SITARA) as a reliable low-cost Jet trainer for export to neighbouring/developing countries. Importing planes solely for an aerobatics display team, (with a high attrition rate) is something we could ill-afford at this juncture.
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