Saturday, March 17, 2012

HAL likely to handover 1st batch of Tejas to IAF by next year

The first batch of the country's indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) "Tejas" was likely to be handed over to the Indian Air Force by next year, a senior Aeronautical Development Agency official said today.

"As far as LCA is concerned, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the prime agency. Last year they have started production. I hope from next year onwards they (the LCAs) will start entering the service..", Kota Harinarayana, Dr D S Kothari DRDO Chair, ADA, Bangalore, told reporters here.

In the first batch, IAF had placed orders for 40 LCAs. "Airforce has committed about 80 aircraft. Navy also wants similar aircraft", he said.

Harinarayana, former Programme Director for the LCA project at ADA, also mooted integration of auto component companies with HAL.

"See, HAL should not manufacture from bottom to top..that is from pin to aircraft. Pins should be made by pin-specialist. HAL can concentrate on integration. The problem is, there are no Tier I and II companies (to support other products for the construction of an aircraft)..we have to bring in that technology and innovation.", he said.

"The real challenge is we have to bring in technology at low costs which are globally competitive. We should be able to sell it elsewhere in the world", he said.

Earlier, addressing a seminar at the third edition of Tamil Nadu Manufacturing Summit, organised by CII, he said the global aerospace market was estimated to be USD 100 billion and dominated by US and European Union based industries.

In the next 20 years, India would need more than 1,200 aircraft worth USD 100 billion, he said.

He was of the view that Indian companies can enter into an agreement with Tier-I companies of the world so that there could not be any difficulty in bringing such technology to India.

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