India’s premier aeronautic laboratory, the state-run Hindustan Aeronauts Limited (HAL) has delivered the first homegrown production unit of Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF-1410) transponder for the Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I reconnaissance aircraft. The IFF-1410 transponder which is designed, developed and produced by HAL has been handed over to the Indian Navy and will be integrated into the P-81 Poseidon aircraft.
According to HAL's Deputy General Manager (HR) D V S Raju, the indigenous IFF-1410 transponder from HAL’s Avionics Division is also under evaluation and trials for Jaguar aircraft's Darin III upgrade and HAL's trainer aircraft HJT-36 Sitara besides getting integrated with P-81 aircraft.
The Indian Navy has successfully completed an initial test flight of the first P-8I in Seattle, US, and validated its flying capabilities and other crucial features while the second P-81 aircraft carried out its debut flight earlier this month. The P-8I aircraft undergoes test flights over a US Navy test range in Washington as well as a test range in the Strait of Georgia. The first Poseidon aircraft is expected to be operational with the Indian Navy in 2013.
Meanwhile, India’s HAL is gearing up to demonstrate a Combined Interrogator Transponder (CIT) MK XII system by mid-June 2013. HAL’s Hyderabad Division is also developing a production equivalent prototype of a software-defined radio which will also be revealed next year.
As for Aerospace Division of HAL, it is creating advanced avionics ranging from navigation equipment, data-link equipment and radio communication equipment. It is also creating Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars for future Indian Armed Forces’ aircraft programmes such as Fifth generation Fighter aircraft (FGFA), Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) as well as HTT-40 trainer aircraft.
In a recent meeting, HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi has stated that to its global vendors that they have to go beyond the traditional relationship of being suppliers and become an active partner in developing India’s aerospace industry. He also asked the bidders to follow fair practice.
In fact, HAL has implemented a ‘Pre-Contract Integrity Pact’ with vendors for contracts exceeding Rs.20 crore. Besides, HAL has also introduced an automated web-based procurement process called 'e-procurement' from indents to payment, reducing scope for corruption and inefficiency. Every tender for Rs.1 million and above value has to take the 'e-route' while HAL intends to bring the threshold to Rs.500,000.