The Indian Air Force has selected Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited (TAAL) for the life cycle upgradation of the MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the Times Of India reported Today.
Pune, India based TAAL competed with Tatas, L&T and Punj Lloyd among total eight bidders. Until now, IAF has outsourced minor jobs like manufacture of spares or allied services and was usually done through Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The project is worth over 12 crore INR ($2 million).
The project is aimed at increasing the life cycle of MiG-29s for a period of another 40 years. The IAF will be providing TAAL spares and components to be fitted in the aircraft. The job will be executed at the base repair depot (BRD) at Nashik. The BRDs come under IAF's maintenance command headquartered at Nagpur.
“IAF will provide training for the first two aircraft, after which it aims to finish four MiG-29s every three months. IAF has close to 50 MiG-29s in all. The work will be jointly done by IAF and TAAL. Considering the size of the job, the company plans to hire experienced manpower from IAF and HAL,” TAAL CEO NC Agrawal was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
"The size of the contract may not be much, but TAAL finds that it will help the company go a long way. Even for us, it will be treading a new path with all its risks. However, it will provide an experience in an altogether new field," he added. He hoped that it will eventually lead to a private player being involved in making of a military aircraft.
A similar move is expected for the AN-32s, with the private vendor expected to be finalized within the next week, said a source in IAF.