HAL to speed up production of fighter planes

New Delhi : In view of the Central Government’s efforts to fulfill the needs of the Indian Security Forces indigenously, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) company, which manufactures fighter planes along with helicopters in India, has geared itself up to speed up their production. As per the project plan prepared by ‘HAL’, it has kept a target of manufacturing 1000 army helicopters and more than 100 fighter planes.

The Chairman and Managing Director of the ‘HAL’, T. Suvarna Raju shared the details of the preparations made by ‘HAL’ for speeding up the indigenous production, in order to comply with the needs of the Indian Security Forces. India has decided to adopt a policy of complete indigenisation of defense equipment. As per the policy, adopted in order to achieve complete self-dependence in defense capability, India has decided to manufacture army helicopters, fighter planes along with cannons, tanks and other military equipment indigenously.

Also, while making agreements with foreign companies, regarding purchase of planes and helicopters, India has also put forth the condition that the technology of manufacturing the planes-helicopters must be transferred to India. Similarly, India is also manufacturing the fifth generation level advanced fighter planes ‘Sukhoi-MKI 35 with the help of Russia. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited ( HAL) is manufacturing these planes in India. Moreover, it has also successfully manufactured the indigenous fighter plane fleet Tejas’. Also, the initiative to develop separate editions of the indigenous fighter plane ‘Tejas’ for the navy and the airforce, has been taken. Efforts are being made to phase out the old fighter planes and replace them with the newer advanced fighter planes, in order to increase the lethelness of attack of the Indian Air Force. While deploying the new planes, efforts are being made at the Central level to deploy more and more indigenous planes.

It was these efforts only that led to the contract of supplying 123 ‘Tejas’ fighter planes to the Indian Air Force, being awarded to ‘HAL’. To fulfill the contract, ‘HAL’ is working on increasing its production capacity and has started work to supply 16 fighter planes annually from 2018-19.

Moreover, T. Suvarna Raju added that  HAL will be upgrading and modifying major fighter planes of the Indian Air Force, like Sukhoi 30MKI, Jaguar and Mirage in order to improve their incisiveness.

In the next five years, the company, HAL will undergo major revamping and expansion in order to deliver indigenous planes to the Indian Defense Forces, he added. The Chairman of the HAL also informed that as a consequence, the ‘HAL’ company will be able to produce a total of 1000 helicopters of the ‘Kamov 226’, ‘LCH’ and ‘ALH’ class over the next 10 years. HAL has entered an agreement with Russia for the manufacturing of advanced multipurpose, convenient Kamov 226T helicopter in India. These helicopters will replace ‘Cheetah’ and ‘Chetak’ helicopters. The chief of HAL added that currently, HAL manufactures 8 ‘Tejas’ planes annually and the production speed will be doubled soon.

In order to speed up the production of fighter planes, HAL, apart from enhancing its basic infrastructure, is also seeking assistance from the private sector in the manufacturing. T. Raju further informed that the manufacturing of the components like wings and the fuselage of the planes will be outsourced to private companies.

In addition to speeding up of the manufacturing of indigenous planes, the revamp of ‘Sukhoi’ fighter planes in the next few years, is a major challenge. Russia and India are in negotiation for upgrading Su-30MKI fighter planes to modern fifth generation planes. Earlier this month, India and Russia signed two major agreements for upgradation of these fighter planes, informed Raju.