India has outsourced Part-production of its home-made Light Combat Aircraft, ‘Tejas’ to Indian private companies by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) as part of ‘three pronged program’ to speed up production of the fighter jets.
“We are getting fuselage (body) made by private companies and the HAL, in future, will just be an integrator. We have outsourced fuselage and the wing production to three companies and these have to come back with deliveries in two years,” T Suvarna Raju, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was quoted as saying by The Tribune news daily Monday.
HAL has an order of producing 123 Tejas jets in two variants. HAL has a capacity of building eight jets per year.
Raju said, “The increased production rate will be visible from 2018 when we will be able to provide 16 planes per year under a Rs 1,300-crore expansion project (at the HAL facility in Bangalore).”
“The second part of the ‘increase-production plan’ is to use the existing facility of the hawk trainer jets and a pilot project has already started,” Raju added.
The third part involves outsourcing to private companies, thus turning HAL into an integrator – a concept adopted by leading foreign manufacturers. This will mean the Tejas fleet of 123 jets can be delivered earlier than planned.
The IAF is operating with 33 squadrons (16-18 planes each) as against the need for 42 squadrons mandated to effectively fight a simultaneous two-front war with Pakistan and China.