HAL to ramp up production of Fighter Jets and Helicopters with Rs 17,500 crore expansion plan

Ramping up production of fighter aircraft, helicopters and UAVs, aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is gearing up for an overall investment of Rs 17,500 crore in the next five years.

Responding to media queries at the Aero India 2017 here, HAL chairman and managing director T Suvarna Raju said the company may go in for bank loans to fund the projects.

Here’s his update on projects undertaken by HAL, both indigenously and in collaboration with foreign partners.

Sukhoi-30MKI

HAL supplied 183 Sukhoi-MKI multi-role fighter aircraft to the IAF till January 2017. The remaining aircraft, out of an order for 222 planes, would be delivered by 2019-20.

As the lead agency for the aircraft’s upgrade, HAL will ink contracts with the Sukhoi Design Bureau for a two-phase upgrade. The first phase will start in 90 days, Raju said.

LCA Tejas

Three aircraft were delivered to IAF, which operationalised its first squadron, “Flying Daggers”. The delivery of all the 40 LCA Mk-1 aircraft will be completed by 2019-20.

LCA Mk1A

The project will go on an overdrive to cater to IAF’s procurement of 83 LCA Mk1A aircraft with enhanced capabilities of AESA Radar, BVR missile, self-protection jammer and air-to-air refuelling.

The production will be increased from the current eight per year to 16 a year with increased stress on outsourcing, said Raju. “The trials for LCA Mk1A will be completed by 2018.”

ALH Dhruvs

On the Advanced Light Helicopter (Dhruv), Raju said HAL has built 231 copters till January 2017. “We have concluded negotiations for 73 more ALHs to the services. The contract will be signed shortly.”

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Dornier aircraft

The defence PSU has also produced 135 Dornier-228 aircraft. The Navy has placed orders for 12 more. The task will be completed by 2019-20.

Light Utility Helicopter

The Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), which had its maiden flight in September 2016 and flew again at the airshow inaugural, is expected to complete the certification process by 2018. Deliveries could begin by 2019-20.

Light Combat Helicopter

The Defence Acquisition Council, he said, has cleared procurement of 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). Ten of these are for IAF and five for the Army. HAL is also producing 20 Cheetal helicopters for the Army and 10 more are in the pipeline for IAF.

Besides, HAL will undertake upgrades of 61 Jaguars and 51 Mirage fighter aircraft.

Basic trainer

On the Hindustan Turboprop Trainer (HTT), Raju said the company expected orders for 106 aircraft, to be used for basic training, aerobatics, instrument flying and close-formation flights.

Mini UAVs

Progressing on the Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) front, HAL has developed an 80-kg product with a 15-km day/night range capability. “It is now production-ready for the police, paramilitary services and armed forces,” informed Raju.

HAL is investing Rs 210 crore on Rustom-2 with Aeronautical Defence Establishment as partner. It has already partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur to develop a rotary UAV. “Our plan is to get into the 50, 200 and 500 kg class UAVs.”

Highest turnover

HAL has notched up its highest ever turnover of Rs 16,736 crore for 2015-16, a 7.14% growth over the previous year. “Profit before tax was Rs 3,288 crore. The current year’s target is Rs 17,100 crore. Our sales till January stood at Rs 10,086 crore,” the CMD informed.

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Source:- India Today

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