Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is banking on getting a firm order for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) from the Indian Air Force to keep its order pipeline robust, T. Suvarna Raju, chairman and managing director, said.
A request for proposal (RFP) for the improved LCA Mark-1A version was issued in late December. “We hope the RFP for 83 LCAs will get converted into a contract. Then we will have work load at Bengaluru,” he said in an interview. The order is estimated to be worth Rs. 50,000 crore.
The firm says it needs the LCA contract as it will run out of orders for fixed wing aircraft once it supplies the last Sukhoi-30 Mki fighter to the Air Force in about a year. “Today we have confirmed orders for fixed wing aircraft up to 2018-19. The Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer production is over. We have to produce another 34 of the Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters and that will go on until 2019. After that, our major aircraft manufacturing divisions would be looking for some work.” Especially the Nashik plant, Mr. Raju said.
The IAF has already asked for 20 LCAs in an early (IOC) version and another 20 in an advanced, weaponised version (FOC); the developer agency Aeronautical Development Agency is working on the later model. This year, the IAF would get 11 aircraft under the older contract, Mr. Raju said.
HAL expects to close the current financial year ending March 31 with a turnover of Rs. 18,000 crore, a marginal increase from last year’s Rs. 17,600 crore. “This is in spite of the reduced number of platforms. Capex for the year would be Rs. 1,300 crore, about 20% growth over the last year.”
About the work in hand, he said the company was eyeing an order book of Rs. 1.5 lakh crore to make military copters and aircraft for the Air Force. If the LCA order came in, it would mean an additional Rs. 50,000 crore and would last for the next 8-10 years.
“Today we have orders of Rs. 61,000 crore. Then there are the LCH, the planned 100 HTT-40s (Hindustan Turbo Trainer for new pilots) and perhaps the Kamov-226T copters,” Mr. Raju said. The Light Utility Helicopter and the Light Combat Helicopter are its own products derived from the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The company has signed a contract for delivering around 70 ALHs 2022.
Under a 2015 agreement with its Russian counterparts, HAL is expected to produce 140 of the 200 Ka-226Ts.
They would come out of the new helicopter complex that HAL is creating at Tumakuru. The first of the LUH copters also may fly out of there in late 2018.
“An order for 159 LCH or Light Combat Helicopters is expected,” he said.
Source:- The Hindu
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