New Delhi: A new helicopter manufacturing factory of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 6, in what will be India’s largest such facility that will initially produce light utility helicopters (LUHs).
The HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters with varying load-carrying capacities, with a total business of over Rs 4 lakh crore over the next 20 years. The HAL already has a plant in Bengaluru that produces advanced light helicopters (ALHs).
The Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the factory spread over 615 acres at Tumakuru, Karnataka. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and senior officials of the Ministry of Defence were among those present on the occasion.
PM Modi unveiled the LUH, which has been flight tested. The LUH is an indigenously designed and developed three-tonne class, single-engine multipurpose utility helicopter. Initially, the factory will produce around 30 helicopters per year and can be enhanced to 60 and then 90 every year in a phased manner, according to the Defence Ministry.
“It is a dedicated new greenfield helicopter factory which will enhance India’s capacity and ecosystem to build helicopters,” Singh said.
The factory will be augmented to produce other helicopters such as light combat helicopters (LCHs) and Indian multirole helicopters (IMRHs). It will also be used for maintenance, repair and overhaul of military and civilian use helicopters. The potential exports of the civil variant of the LUH will also be catered to from this factory, the Ministry of Defence said.
The proximity of the factory, with the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru, will boost the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the region and support skill and infrastructure development such as schools, colleges and residential areas, it was noted.
The factory is fully operational with heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control and servicing facilities. It is being equipped with state-of-the-art industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques for its operations. The foundation stone of the facility was laid by Prime Minister Modi in 2016.