The Indo-Russian Transport Aircraft project to jointly design a transport aircraft for militaries of both nations has been grounded since a year.
Multi-role Transport Aircraft Ltd. (MTAL), the Indo-Russian company that was to have spawned India’s own military transport aircraft, is wound up. If the closure of the company takes place, it will formally bury a decade-old plan to co-design and co-develop a cargo/transport plane for the armed forces of the two nations, The Hindu reported Sunday.
The project appears to have gone cold at least a year ago and there has been no official word on the status of the government-to-government deal, whereas Russia is reportedly going ahead with its new plane for its armed forces, according to sources.
The program was kicked off in December 2012 at Moscow, where 30 engineers from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) began working with their Russian counterparts from the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) on the $600-million project.
Joint development of the plane, MTA, was conceived around 2006-07 and firmed up in 2010 via an inter-governmental agreement.
MTA Project envisaged development and manfacture of 15-20 Ton Cargo Transport Aircraft for use by Defence/Civil Operators for transporting Cargo, Armed Personnel & Para-dropping.
Surprisingly, MTAL, which has been idle for almost two years, has a CEO, a company secretary and a head of finance. It is expected the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), which is also a partner in the venture will proceed to closure after it gets nod from the government.
A hint of this came in February Aero India 2017, when HAL chairman and managing director T. Suvarna Raju said, “The MTA (Multi-role Transport Aircraft) project is not progressing well. As of now, no work is going on and it is currently in the ‘stop’ mode. We will know about its future in the current year.”