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Maker of Sukhoi Is Betting Its Future On Light Combat Aircraft For Sustained Growth


The company had orders to manufacture 222 Sukhoi 30 MKIs, of which only 25 are pending and will be completed over the next three years. The Navratna firm also currently has orders to manufacture 40 Light Combat Aircraft and 73 Advanced Light Helicopter aside of Dornier-228 aircraft for Indian Navy and civilian purposes. Besides, it is in talks with the government for additional 80 LCAs.
HAL is hoping that the manufacture of LCAs will bring in revenue once the Sukhoi orders have been completed. The government’s decision to go ahead with LCA for single engine fighter jets requirement will also help the company, the defence PSU said in a statement. It plans to double manufacturing line for LCA to 16 per year from the current eight, M Mazhar Ali, executive director – planning and projects at HAL told BloombergQuint.
Sale of the Sukhoi currently accounts for 31.1 percent of HAL’s revenue.
The company expects servicing revenue from Sukhois to bridge the revenue gap after 2020-21. All aircraft have to come back for overhaul after every 1,500 hours of flight, Mazhar said. In addition, the company is also undertaking the upgrades of Jaguar and Mirage fighter jets.
HAL is also looking at developing the fifth generation fighter aircraft in collaboration with Russia. In 2007, India and Russia had inked an inter-governmental pact for the FGFA project. The preliminary work on this has been completed and the government is in talks with the Russia to take a final call, Mazhar added.
HAL’s operations are spread across 20 manufacturing units with 11 co-located R&D centres. The company earmarks 10 percent of the operating profits for R&D activities, said CV Ramana Rao, director-finance at HAL. The planned capital expansion stands at over Rs 1,375 crore for next financial year, he added.
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