Although resembling superficial to the Jet Provost the Kiran was the
first turbojet-powered aircraft of exclusively Indian design.
Development of this side-by-side two-seat basic trainer was initiated
in 1958 under leadership of Dr. V.M. Ghatage, detail design began in
April 1961 and the first prototype flew September 4, 1964 and
deliveries started in March 1968. The 119th and subsequent Kirans were
fitted with a hardpoint under each wing for weapons or drop-tanks, and
were designated Kiran Mk.IA.
A further development was the Kiran Mk.II for armament training and
counter-insurgency duties. The main differences were the improved
weapons carrying capability on four hardpoints and the two 0.3 in
(7.62 mm) machine-guns in the nose. Systems and equipment were updated
and improved and the 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) s.t Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.11
engine was replaced by the 4,200 lb (1,905 kg) s.t Rolls-Royce Orpheus
A total of 254 Mk.I/IA/IIs were built, 224 went to the Indian AF and
12 to the Indian Navy.