Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a defence aerospace company, in a bid to push indigenisation and value addition to products, has made research and development (R&D) spend to the tune of ₹6,783 crore in the last five years.

“The company has been the flag bearer for the country in the aviation sector and has contributed immensely towards indigenous capability development in this niche segment. This was possible due to the continued focus on technology upgradation and innovative business initiatives,” said R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL.

“HAL with this strategy, has achieved success in building Advanced Light Helicopter (both utility and weaponised version). Many of its in-house R&D projects undertaken includes LCH, LUH, HTT-40, TEJAS, MK-1A which are in the final stages of design and development and will be commercially produced in the next couple of years,” he added.

The company has 10 R&D centres within the premises and are co‐located with production units for ease of manufacture and all are Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) approved centres.

With a strong production pipeline, the company has been earmarking close to 10 percent of its operating profit after tax for R&D efforts. Last five years, the company has been consistent in its R&D spend. The following are the annual R&D spend: Financial year 2015-16 (₹1,191 crore), FY 2016-17 (₹1,284 crore), FY 2017-18 (₹1,612 crore), FY 2018-19 (₹1,464 crore) and FY 2019-20 (₹1,232 crore).

Intellectual Property

On the Intellectual Property (IP) front, the company in fiscal 2019-20 filed 201 IPR applications, which takes its cumulative figure to 1,823 IPRs. In all, 140 IPRs have been granted during 2019-20 again taking its cumulative IPRs numbers to 318.

The company has also prioritised its focus on participation of academia-industry linkage. Over the years, the company has established chairs at IITs and IISc to benefit from technological developments and their application in our R&D programs. The collaborations with IITs and IISc is also seen as talent acquisition and for aeronautical research. HAL has also been focusing on enhanced participation by specialised start-ups in R&D and technology development.