Our Bureau
12:31 PM, January 4, 2018
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Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter: Image courtesy HAL

Barring the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, all major helicopter and aircraft manufacturing programs by India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) are on the verge of completion.

HAL has so far manufactured 153 Su-30MKI fighter jets of 182 ordered at the rate of 12 aircraft per year for INR 59420 crores (US $9.37 billion).

HAL has completed manufacturing of Hawk MK 132 trainer aircraft, only two Dornier Do-228 aircraft of 14 are left for production. Of the 159 Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv ordered for INR 13799 crores (US $2.1 billion) HAL has to produce only five more. Ten Cheetal helicopters are still to be produced for INR 203 crores (US $32 million), according to ministry of defense statement Wednesday.

India is spending INR 2702 crores ($426 million) for production of 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) LCA Tejas aircraft and INR 5989 crores ($944 million) for 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) aircraft. Six aircraft have been produced so far.

HAL is also awaiting an Indian Air Force order of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft valued at an approximate Rs 50000 crore (US $7.8 billion). IAF has issued to HAL a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the same last month.

The final deal for the procurement is likely to be inked within the next four months. Out of these 83 LCA, 10 will be used for training purposes.

HAL plans to transfer the technology of its ALH Dhruv to a domestic defense manufacturer for commercial production. HAL is in the process of identifying a private entity with whom it will share the technology for the production of twin-engine combat helicopter in India.

It is likely to float a Request for Information (RFI) soon for identifying an Indian private agency that can produce the civilian version of the ALH Dhruv helicopters in future.

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