Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is the PSU behind the arsenal of the Indian Air Force. 60-65 % of IAF aircraft are manufactured by HAL. HAL falls under the Indian Ministry of defence, and is located in Bangalore. The government holds 90% of HAL’s share and is helping HAL to reach new heights.
HAL was founded in 1940 as Hindustan aircraft. But in 1964 it was renamed as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. As of April 2019, HAL had 28,345 employees. HAL has 11 research and development centers and 20 production units. Even in 2018, HAL was ranked 34 in Top 100 aircraft industries.
- In 1964 Hindustan aircraft converted to HAL and joined the IAF aircraft manufacturing Depot, and got a chance to jointly manufacture under licensed MiG-21.
- In the 1980s they initiated the development of HAL Tejas designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency to replace the MiG-21.
- They also started the development of HAL Dhruv in the 1980s. it was developed for both military and civil purposes. Till now HAL has produced the 300 units of the Dhruv helicopter.
- Based on Dhruv, HAL is developing the LCH & LUH.
- HAL is carrying upgrade of the entire fleet of the Indian Air Force: Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage, and Hawk jet.
- Delivery of LCA Tejas from 2019 at the rate of 16 units per year. Till now HAL had delivered 32 units to The Indian Air Force.
- HAL had signed a deal of worth $5.83 billion, for delivery of 200 LCH and 500 Dhruv helicopters.
- A deal worth $57 million for the upgrade of the Jaguar fleet of IAF.
- A deal of worth $960 billion for the upgrade of 64 MiG-29, by HAL and the Russian Company.
Future of HAL and Indian Military:
Tejas Mk-2: It is a multirole medium weight fighter aircraft. It is designed to replace the present Jaguar, Mirage 2000, MiG 29. There is confirmation from the chief of Aeronautical Development Agency that MWF will shed its “Tejas” stamp and get a completely new name altogether during or after its first flight. The ‘roll-out’ of the first prototype of the MWF is scheduled for August 2022 with its first flight expected in September 2023. A total of four prototypes are being planned initially.
AMCA: It will be a fifth-generation fighter aircraft with twin-engine, stealth technology, the all-weather, multirole fighter jet. Its first flight is expected in 2025 and is expected to be in production in 2029.
LCH: LCH is a multirole attack helicopter, and is the world’s lightest. LCH is in production for both Indian Air Force and Army and had proved itself by being the first attack helicopter to land in Siachen. It is ready to serve the nation, and currently, 162 units are ordered.
Recently 2 LCH were deployed in Ladakh, but they aren’t officially included in the arsenal till now. LCH is considered more superior than Apache in high altitude terrains like Ladakh & Siachen. LCH had completed all of the trials, and in 2015 it’s cold weather trials were conducted in Ladakh. But it’s production was delayed due to delay in the production of Indian anti-tank guided missile. Soon it will be going to be inducted in the Indian military arsenal with Israeli missiles until Indian missiles will be available.
LUH: LUH stands for Light Utility Helicopter. This utility helicopter is under development for both civil and military uses.
Recently LUH has completed its final flight trials at Siachen glacier and had successfully operated at the world’s highest helipads. During its flight, it flew with real payload and Flightplan and had successfully overcome all the challenges such as bad weather & high terrain. LUH received initial operational clearance in February 2020, and this flight has successfully completed all the trials. And is now almost ready to move further towards production.
Even through Make in India policy, India is planning to increase the share of defence export to achieve the target of $5 billion by 2025. Even HAL planned to set up its logistic bases in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam to increase it’s export to other countries. By the coming years, the Indian military and HAL will share a greater bond and will develop more jets and helicopters to help India fly high the sky.