HAL proposed high-tech rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicle, which may be tested by end of year

The history and growth of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is synonymous with the growth of Aeronautical industry in India for more than 79 years. Since its inception, HAL has been a pioneer in the Indian aeronautical industry. As of February 2020, the manufacturing programs underway at HAL were production of SU-30MKI, LCA & DO-228 aircraft and ALH-Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetal & LCH Helicopters.

The Repair Overhaul (ROH) programs being carried out presently are Jaguar (with upgrade), Mirage (with upgrade), Kiran, HS-748, AN-32, MiG 21, Su-30 MKI, Hawk, Dornier Do-228, ALH, Cheetal, Cheetah and Chetak.

The Company takes up maintenance and overhaul services to cover the life cycle requirement of all the old and new products. Presently, 13 types of Aircraft/Helicopters and Engines are being overhauled. In addition, facilities exist for repair/ overhaul of various Accessories and Avionics fitted on Aircraft of Russian, Western and Indigenous designs.

On 27th February 2020, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has hailed HAL’s contribution in the nation building calling it as the backbone of the Indian Defence Forces. “While there is every reason to be happy about its performance especially in the last five years, the Company should prepare itself to take up the challenges in the emerging market. HAL should see the competition as an opportunity”, he said at  a cultural event organized at HAL in Bangalore.

After a glorious history in Indian aeronautics Industry, HAL aims to increase its presence in the overseas market. In line with HAL’s mission to become a global player, exports have been identified as one of the thrust areas.

HAL has supplied Dhruv, Lancer, Chetak & Cheetah helicopters and Do-228 aircraft to international customers and is also providing product support for the above platforms. The company has established its credibility through supply of high precision structural & composite work packages, assemblies, avionics etc to Global Aviation majors like Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce, IAI, Rosoboronexport etc.

It was recently reported that HAL was now planning to increase its visibility in several Asian markets. (HAL) is looking at setting up logistics bases in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka as part of initiatives to woo the countries to buy India’s light combat aircraft Tejas and military helicopters.

Chairman and Managing Director of HAL R Madhavan said the HAL is considering to build logistics bases in the four countries as they use a number of Russian-origin military aircraft and choppers whose serviceability is “very poor”.

He said the HAL is now seriously focusing on boosting exports in sync with the government’s priority and identified South East Asia, West Asia and North Africa to sell key platforms like Tejas, attack helicopter Rudra and advanced light helicopter Dhruv.

“We are looking at setting up maintenance facilities in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka. We can give them a lot of support to as these countries use lot of platforms which are common to India, and their serviceability is very poor,” R Madhavan remarked.

Specifically, he said that Tejas has a “very good” export potential as it is a four-and-half generation fighter jet which can compete with some of the famous military jets in its class. The Tejas has been developed by Aeronautical Development Agency and the HAL. The lifespan of the jet would be a minimum of 30 years just like any other frontline combat aircraft. The combat jets are classified under various generations depending on their avionics, capability and weapons system.