Thursday, June 13, 2024

Prime Minister To Inaugurate India’s Largest Helicopter Factory

By Aritra Banerjee

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a helicopter factory in Tumakuru, Karnataka, on 6 February 2023, operated by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and top Ministry of Defence officials will attend the event.

The 615-acre greenfield facility aims to be a one-stop shop for India’s helicopter needs and will initially produce Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs). The LUH is a domestically designed and developed 3-ton, single-engine, multi-purpose helicopter with exceptional manoeuvrability. The factory aims to produce 30 LUHs per year and increase production to 60 and then 90 in a phased manner. The first LUH has completed flight testing and is ready to be revealed.

The factory will later expand to manufacture Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMRHs). It will also serve as a maintenance and repair centre for LCHs, LUHs, civil Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs), and IMRHs. The facility will also cater to potential exports of civil LUHs.

HAL’s goal is to produce over 1,000 helicopters weighing 3-15 tons, yielding a total business value of over Rs. 4 lakh crores over 20 years. The Tumakuru factory will bring direct and indirect job opportunities and support local development through substantial company spending on community-centric programs. The factory’s location, near HAL’s existing facilities in Bengaluru, will enhance the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem and encourage skill and infrastructure development. The facility will also improve nearby communities’ access to medical and health care.

The factory is fully operational with facilities such as a heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control, and other supporting service facilities. It is equipped with advanced Industry 4.0 tools and techniques for efficient operations. The factory was established in 2016 with a foundation stone laid by the Prime Minister. It will allow India to meet its entire helicopter demand without imports and further the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in helicopter design, development, and production.

Most Popular