The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has revealed that its order-book position in the current financial year has been very healthy since around $ 18.61 billion worth of orders have already been received. In its annual report, HAL indicated that the orders include Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) as well as other aircraft and aerospace products.
In its annual report, HAL’s healthy order-book consists of deals for new aircraft and choppers including Sukhoi-30 MKI, Hawk, Dornier, LCA, Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopters. The combined worth of the above-mentioned aircraft amounts to $ 15 .17 billion alone. The other significant HAL orders consist of the Hawk trainers worth $ 2.11 billion and the LCA worth $ 1.33 billion.
Hal has been actively exposing its defence products and aerospace capabilities to the international market by participating in air shows such as Farnborough Air Show, Africa Aerospace and Defence 2010, Aero India 2011, Indo Defence Expo Forum 2010, Jakarta, Indonesia and IISAREX2011. As a result, it has received export orders worth about $78.22 million. HAL’s expenditure on research and development amounted to $ 219.25 million whilst the expenditure on outsourcing amounted to $ 48.88 million. In Aero-India 2011, HAL also handed over a Cheetah helicopter to Namibian Air Force and five Advance Light Helicopter-Dhruv to the Indian Army.
Earlier this year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had indicated that it will spend $1.4 billion to procure 64 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) from HAL. The LCH has been designed to fit into an anti-infantry and anti-armour role and will have the capability to operate at high altitudes. The LCH is designed and developed indigenously by the HAL in four years since the project began in 2006, and is likely to be ready for induction by the Army and Air Force before 2014. The helicopter, powered by twin Shakti engines developed by HAL in association with French Turbomeca, can achieve a top speed of 268 kmph and has a range of 550 km with internal fuel tanks. It can extend its range by another 250 km using drop tanks.
HAL has also been collaborating with global defence and aerospace firms and has also established 11 joint ventures with leading international as well as domestic companies in various areas. HAL has inked a deal with US aircraft engine manufacturer GE Aviation under which HAL will undertake at its facilities repair and overhauling of various avionics and other components of the Hawk Mk132 trainer aircraft acquired for the Indian Air Force. The 30-year contract enables HAL to conduct repair and overhaul of GE-made avionics, instruments and hydraulic products for the AJTs at two of its facilities in India.
Earlier this year, HAL also handed over 100th maritime surveillance aircraft 'Dornier 228' (DO-228) built by it to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The 19-seater multi-purpose light transport aircraft to be a landmark addition into the armoury of coast guards for effective and sharp surveillance of country's coastal boundaries.
HAL has more than 70 years of providing high quality manufacturing, research and development, and repair and overhaul services in India and it is adding overhauling for avionics, instruments and hydraulic products as a part of its expansion plan. The future plans of HAL include the continued effort to produce sophisticated aircraft for the defence forces including the Intermediate Jet Trainer, light-weight "Saras" aircraft and a Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) besides the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) and Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) in collaboration with Russia.