Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is setting up a Greenfield facility for the exclusive manufacture of light utility helicopters (LUH) and naval multi role helicopters (NMRH) in Tumkuru district, close to Bengaluru.
The HAL Chairman, Suvarna Raju announced that the Government of Karnataka had allocated 610 acres of land in Tumkuru district and efforts are on to start the works over there. The development cost for the helicopter complex would be about Rs. 400 crores. He mentioned that the LUH prototype would be available this year and the certification of the helicopter is expected in 2017.
The future military and civil market in India and elsewhere is huge, he said and added that HAL is positioning itself to address the demands of the market. Based on the current growth rate, there should be about 400 to 600 new helicopter deliveries by 2020.In the past 75 years, HAL he said had major achievements and the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas which was handed over to the Indian Air Force recently, is a significant programme. It has a 28,000 sq.m of hangar and the manufacturing line is state-of-the-art. HAL’s research and development expenditure in 2013-14 was Rs. 1,083 crore (7.2 per cent) of the turnover.
Asked about the differences between HAL and Dassault Aviation Rafale with regard to contracts, Suvarna Raju said that he was not aware of this. “HAL as a lead production agency will do its role.” It has already taken 400 acres of land for the programme and would await directions of the government. “We have 15 indigenous designs and 14 with joint ventures and are capable of handling any project.”
As for the regional civil aircraft programme (72-100 seater), the approvals are being obtained and HAL will be in the forefront of this development, he said.