Sunday, July 14, 2024

Prime Minister visits HAL facilities in Bengaluru: Appreciates its growing Capabilities

By Staff Correspondent

After making his first flight in Bengaluru, Karnataka, on November 25, 2023, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid a visit to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The aircraft is a twin-seater Light Combat Aircraft named Tejas. The first Indian prime minister to fly aboard a fighter plane built and designed in the country, Tejas, was Shri Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister was told on the technology-intensive work being done at HAL to realize the vision of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and had a tour of the LCA Tejas aircraft production facilities in Bengaluru. He was informed of the steps HAL was taking to ramp up capacity and capabilities.

The Prime Minister spoke about the aircraft’s capabilities while at the LCA Tejas Final Assembly. He was informed on the capabilities of Tejas, a lightweight, multi-role aircraft that can fly in all weather conditions. Tejas is the cornerstone of the fighter fleet and has been operationally deployed with the Indian Air Force. The aircraft is far better than its counterparts and can perform both ground attach and offensive air support tasks.

The Prime Minister spoke with the engineers about the many aspects of the aircraft as he went through the LCA Tejas assembly line. It was clarified that the aircraft’s current GE 404 engine would be upgraded to a GE 414 engine for the LCA Mk II, which will be produced in India under an 80% Technology Transfer agreement with GE Engines, for which an MOU has been inked. For the first time, an engine of this class with an 80% technology transfer would be manufactured in India. This technology transfer is probably going to close the present technical deficit in the nation’s aircraft engine industry.

The capacity investments made by HAL to increase the production of LCA Tejas aircraft were informed to the prime minister. In Bengaluru, the HAL has set up two LCA Tejas production lines, each of which is capable of producing up to 16 aircraft annually. Additionally, starting in 2024–2025, HAL, Nasik is building a second production line to increase the production rate beyond 24 aircraft. HAL intends to provide its clients early access to both present and prospective LCA Tejas orders.

The Prime Minister talked on LCA Tejas’s level of indigenization. With the assistance of the DRDO, DPSUs, and the private sector, HAL showcased a number of domestically created and manufactured systems, such as the Digital Flight Control Computer (DFCC) and Open Architecture Computer (OAC). It was clarified further that indigenisation has also been applied to mission and display systems, air conditioning, hydraulics, flight controls, and fuel systems. The Prime Minister was informed that, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision, HAL is working to advance India’s indigenous content in aircraft to over 70% over the next three to four years. This would help the country become more self-sufficient in the fields of aerospace and defense.

The Prime Minister praised the capabilities of the HAL’s production facilities and the locally produced LCA Tejas aircraft. Additionally, he received an update on the status of the LCA MK1A program. At HAL, the design and development of the 83 Mk1A order is being carried out simultaneously with the manufacturing of fighter aircraft. With features like AESA Radar, BVR Missile capability, EW suite, advanced avionics, and maintenance enhancements, the Mk1A version will be a more deadly aircraft. The IAF is scheduled to receive MK1A aircraft beginning in February 2024.

The Prime Minister was also given a demonstration of many indigenous helicopters, including the Light Utility Helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopter-WSI Rudra, and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand.

The Prime Minister was informed by the HAL on Prachand’s combat and performance skills, with a focus on his high-altitude employability in the eastern Himalayan regions and Leh/Ladakh. It was mentioned that the helicopter had a maximum height of 6 kilometers. He was also informed that the LCH has already been deployed alongside the Army and IAF and that the defense forces also need 156 Prachand helicopters to improve the nation’s defense readiness and advance Aatmanirbharta.

The Rudra (ALH MkIV) helicopter’s weapons, electronic warfare system, and troop-carrying capacity were also demonstrated. The Prime Minister received a briefing on the aircraft’s ability to slew to the target as required by the pilots, along with information on how this is accomplished using a sighting equipment installed on a pilot’s helmet or an electro-optical pod.

Via an X post, Raksha Mantri According to Shri Rajnath Singh, PM Modi’s sortie demonstrated his careful consideration and admiration for India’s defense systems. He claimed that India’s defense production is expanding rapidly under PM Modi’s leadership.

HAL, CMD When the prime minister was there, Shri CB Ananthakrishnan was there. He expressed his gratitude to the prime minister for his unwavering encouragement and support. He claimed that HAL is now more driven to work toward achieving the Aatmanirbhar objectives in the field of aerospace and defense as a result of the Prime Minister’s visit.

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