The HF-24 is India’s first jet-powered domestic fighter. 147 Maruts were completed.

Marut was identified as a single seat fighter-bomber. The plane has a length of 15.87 meters, a wingspan of 9 meters, a height of 3.60 meters, an empty weight of 6.2 tons, and a maximum take-off weight of 10.9 tons.

The HF-24 Marut had a pretty similar appearance to the Mirage family’s design, with the low-mounted delta-wing configuration. Air intakes were located on either side of the fuselage, behind the pointed nose. The pilot sat in a glass cockpit with good visibility to the front and sides. The tail section consisted of a large vertical tail fin and two horizontal planes.

HF-24 Marut
HF-24 Marut

The HF-24 appeared to be a mix of a few different aircraft concepts. It used two British-made jet engines: Bristol Siddeley Orpheus Mk 703 turbojets, with 21.6 kN (4,900 lbf) thrust each. Marut could reach a top speed of Mach 0.93, combat radius of 396 km (246 mi), Rate of climb of 22.5 m/s (4,444 ft/min), and service ceiling of 12,000 m (40,000 ft).

In terms of weapons, Marut was armed with four 30mm ADEN cannons with 120 rounds each. It could carry Retractable Matra pack 68 mm rockets or up to 1.8 tons of bombs on four wing pylons.

At the time of Marut’s inception, the Indian aerospace industry was limited, lacking the infrastructure and scientific base to successfully produce an efficient indigenous fighter. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was heavily dependent on foreign technology and imported components.

The Marut was not only heavily dependent on foreign-sourced materials, but was more expensive to manufacture the type in India than to have imported completed aircraft. The level of indigenous components increased over time, reportedly reaching 70 per cent by December 1973. The allocation of scarce resources to reproducing components that could have been readily imported represented a high level of opportunity cost to India.


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