BANGALORE: Public sector aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Chairman and Managing director R Madhavan today said that HAL had begun major expansion of its manufacturing facilities across the country and the recent Rafale fighter jet deal had not affected the morale of its employees.

Speaking at a select media briefing here on Friday, he refused to comment on the Rafale deal by the Union government saying that it was a government decision and he cannot comment on it.

''We have an order book of Rs 64,000 crore that will be executed in four years. And working on how to speed up our production capacity. Towards this we are spending Rs 1400 crore during 2018-19 to step up production lines towards new projects, normal maintenance, repair lines.''''This is focused towards increasing the production Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejus' which we want to bring up the production capacity from eight aircraft to 16 soon, and scale it up to 20 per annum in near future,'' he said.

Towards this direction, he said HAL was bolstering the vendors for the indigenous fighter jet through L&T, Dynametic, Alpha and Ventek private producers to supply Aero structures. These units will work towards producing products of fuselage of the aircraft like front, Centre and in wings. ''We are setting up an additional production line for LCA in Nasik in this direction,'' he said.