Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is meeting Tejas aircraft's production target as the eight fighter jets will be rolling out of the assembly line this year.
Outsourcing to private defence firms has been key to achieving HAL’s production targets. “HAL is now focusing mainly on putting together large assemblies that are built and supplied by private aerospace companies. That has allowed us to speed up work exponentially”, HAL chief T Suvarna Raju was quoted as saying by Business Standard Wednesday.
Moreover, with an additional investment of Rs 1,231 crore (US$192 million) sanctioned for enhancing capacity, the Tejas line is projected to build 10 fighters in 2018-19; and 16 Tejas Mark 1As each year from 2019-20 onwards.
Thereafter, the line is expected to build the Tejas Mark II fighter, an advanced variant of the Tejas with a more powerful General Electric F-414 engine and upgraded avionics..
HAL has created five “Tier-1” suppliers that each build a part of the Tejas. The front fuselage is supplied by Dynamatic Technologies, Bengaluru and the centre fuselage by VEM Technologies, Hyderabad. Furthermore the rear fuselage is provided by Alpha Tocol, Bengaluru.
Furthermore the wings is supplied by Larsen & Toubro, Coimbatore; and the tail fin and rudder by National Aerospace Laboratory and Tata Advanced Materials.
Each of these Tier-1 suppliers sources components and sub-assemblies from lower-order Tier-2 and Tier-3 suppliers, creating an aerospace industry around the Tejas.
HAL is planning to eventually outsource 69 per cent of the production of Tejas structural modules, with just 31 per cent of the work done in-house – consisting mainly of assembly and equipping work.