AeroIndia'21 - Day 2

AeroIndia'21 - Day 2

Fri, 02/05/2021 - 12:53
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Cost of LCA fighter version is Rs. 309 crores - HAL

R Chandrakanth



Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said a few countries in South East Asia and West Asia have expressed interest in the 4.5 generation fighter aircraft, fitted with modern equipment – the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R.Madhavan, addressing the media, however did not reveal the names of the countries which had shown interest in the LCA. 

He clarified that the cost of the LCA was not as has been reported in the media, after it bagged orders for 83 aircraft from the Ministry of Defence. The cost per aircraft for the fighter version is Rs. 309 crores and Rs. 208 crores for the trainer version. HAL’s order was worth Rs. 25,150 crores, the rest was for taxes, spares, ground equipment etc. Giving a broad break-up, Rs. 11,000 crores for spares, ground equipment, and training; Rs. 7,000 crores was for customs; and Rs. 2,200 crores was tax component. The cost of acquisition for foreign countries would be minus the taxes (which is output tax) and that would be value for money, getting a combat aircraft with enormous capabilities. 

Few countries in South East Asia and West Asia have expressed interest in the 4.5 generation fighter aircraft, fitted with modern equipment – the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, however, he did not reveal the names of the countries which had shown interest in the LCA. 

Order book at Rs. 53,000 crores

The CMD stated that HAL was sitting pretty with a good order book of Rs. 53,000 crores and adding the 83 LCA order, it goes up to Rs. 80,000 crores. With the upcoming orders for  LCH and HTT 40, HAL will cross the one lakh crore mark by next year. “Our hands are full and all our production lines are full. We will speed up delivery of aircraft from 2024 and from 2025 we will have double digit growth. There is no shortage of work.” The Nashik unit will ramp up production from 15 aircraft to 25 soon as HAL has basic infrastructure in place. 

The Indian Air Force has issued the Request For Quotation for HTT 40, he said and mentioned that initially it will be manufactured in Bangalore  and the series production would be from Nashik. HAL is looking forward to the 5th generation AMCA (advanced medium combat aircraft) in collaboration with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation). 

Madhavan said there is about 65 per cent indigenisation as the engine for the LCA is coming directly from the US. “This will get sorted with AMCA.” Similarly, the radar is from Israel which is to be replaced by Uttam radar by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), thus improving the indigenisation content. 

Asked about the status of LCA MKII, he said that structural design is going on and the first roll out will be on August 22 and the first flight on December 23. 

CATS dream project of HAL

speaking on the CATS (Combat Air Team System) Madhavan said about Rs. 400 crores is the initial investment in CATS ‘Warrior’ and that the investment would be scaled up as the programme progresses.HAL’s Warrior is being developed to go into combat as a loyal wingman drone with existing manned fighter jets like LCA Tejas and Rafale of the IAF to complement and maximise their effectiveness.

A replica of India's first-ever semi-stealth drone is now under development. It is being showcased at Aero India. It is described as "a composite amalgamation of manned and unmanned platforms which work together to penetrate heavily defended enemy airspace." 

The idea behind the whole project is to maximise the effectiveness of every mission while also reducing the potential of losing the lives of pilots, since they would be accompanied by the drones which are supposed to protect them.

The Director of Engineering, Arup Chatterjee said CATS is the future of HAL. Explaining CATS Warrior, he said, it can go into enemy territory up to 700 km and strike or go 350 km and come back. CATS Hunter will be a deep strike asset while the mother ship will be in the Indian territory. While CATS Alpha will be swarm drones of 4 or 8 or 16 or 24 units, each capable carrying 5 kg payload, including bombs. These stealth drones which would be solar energised can go up to 70,000 feet doing all kinds of ISR activities. Conceptualised by HAL and being developed by ADE, the CATS Warrior is likely to be part of IAF in the next 4 to 5 years. 

HAL Receives RFP for Basic Trainer HTT40

HAL has received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the Indian Air Force for their Basic Trainers requirement here today at the on-going Aero India 2021. The documents were handed over to Mr. R. Madhavan, CMD, HAL by Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, DCAS and Mr. V. L. Kantha Rao, DG (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence. The RFP is for 70 aircraft with additional clause for 38 more. The certification will be given against the PCQR. The production will take place at HAL’s two manufacturing units at Bengaluru and Nashik. The RFP has come within six years from the first flight of HAL which is shortest time-line in aircraft industry. The trainer will have more than 60 percent indigenous content and is supported by agencies such as CEMILAC, RDAQA, ASTE and others.


Rafael and BDL signs MoU on anti-torpedo system

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint induction of an Anti-Torpedo Defence System called SHADE for the Indian Navy.

The MoU will be signed by Mr Eli Hefets, Rafael's Corporate Regional Director for India, Rafael and Mr NP Diwakar, Director (Technical), BDL, in the presence of Shri Rajnath Singh, Honorable Raksha Mantri, during the Bandhan Ceremony scheduled on 05 February 2021, during the Aero India 2021 at Bengaluru.

SHADE will be the first system in the world to employ a combination of soft kill and hard kill decoys, thereby providing a robust and effective defence against modern torpedoes. The joint induction of SHADE is part of Rafael's commitment to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliance) initiative of the Government of India.

This MoU will be a precursor for cooperation on futuristic systems for the Indian Armed Forces in India, entailing advanced ToT, and a very high indigenous content, leading to self-sufficiency in the field of cutting-edge technology in defence.

This MoU represents an ideal opportunity for industrial cooperation between Israel and India, leading to closer collaboration and co-development of advanced systems in India. Parties will work together to identify joint opportunities for export, subject to export control guidelines of the two governments.

HAL, MIDHANI Sign MoU  on Composites Raw Materials

HAL and MIDHANI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the ongoing Aero India 2021 today for development and production of composite raw materials. This is the first time that such an MoU has been signed for composite raw materials.

The MoU was signed by R. Madhavan, CMD (HAL) and Dr S K Jha, CMD (MIDHANI) in the presence of other Senior officials. Mr R Madhavan said composites are one area where HAL will collaborate. Composites raw materials, mainly in the form of Prepregs used in platforms like LCA, ALH, LCH and LUH are currently imported.

S K Jha, CMD, MIDHANI said that this is the major step forward in the area of composite materials. HAL is not only taking care of frontline aircraft production but also raw materials.


There is no equivalent proven Indian approved/qualified supplier for various types of Prepregs (Carbon, Aramid, Glass types etc.) for the Aircraft applications. This creates dependency on foreign OEMs, which is likely to continue in future indigenous programs. Aligned with “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative, efforts need to be made to develop and manufacture such Prepregs in India through collaboration.

The usage of composites in the Aerospace is going to exist and increase, particularly for fighter Aircrafts/Helicopter because of its inherent advantages over metallic raw materials. In addition, similar requirement exists for other Aerospace and Defense programs including those of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

HAL, GE Aviation Sign Contract for Supply of Forgings

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd today signed a contract with GE Aviation for development and supply of ring forgings for GE Aviation military and commercial engine programs. The five-year contract valued over INR 100 crores (USD 15 M), involves supplying both steel and nickel alloy forgings for shrouds, cases, rings and seals. Mr Chandrashekhar Yavarna, Senior Director, Global Sourcing Strategy, GE Aviation handed over the contract document to Mr M S Venkatesh, Executive Director, Foundry Forge Division.

With this contract award, GE Aviation has initiated the development of a raw material supply chain in India as part of its “Make in India” and “AatmaNirbhar Bharat” strategy. The award of contract followed HAL’s successful bidding in GE’s Global request for quotes (RFQ).

The ring forgings will be manufactured at HAL’s newly established, state-of-the-art ring rolling facility at the Company’s Foundry and Forge Division in Bengaluru. The division has, after a rigorous audit process, obtained GE Aviation approvals for its quality system and special processes.


“Foundry & Forge Division of HAL, Bangalore Complex is supplying Ring forgings for Defense & Civil Aerospace requirements for the last 3 decades. Current contact from GE Aviation for their Global Aero engine requirements is a reaffirmation of HAL’s capabilities in the field of Ring Forging manufacturing and is a significant step forward in country’s efforts in becoming a major player in global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) supply chain.” Said Mr. Amitabh Bhatt, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bangalore Complex.

“We are pleased to enter this agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for these critical forgings. HAL’s investment in developing this capability and their new facility positions them as a world-class supplier, and we look forward to continuing strong partnership and joint success with HAL,” said Vince Kinman, Executive Forging Sourcing for GE Aviation.

HAL’s Foundry & Forge Division in Bangalore specializes in manufacturing of seamless rolled rings in aluminum, nickel & titanium alloys and various grades of steel for civil and military aero-engines and space applications.  

BEL enters into Offset Contract with JSC Rosoboronexport

At the 6th India-Russia Military Industrial Conference, held today in Bengaluru, Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) entered into an Offset Contract under invest in kind with Joint Stock Company Rosoboronexport, Russia, for setting up industrial facilities for the manufacture of a wide range of aviation hoses at BEL Optronic Devices Limited, Pune, a subsidiary of BEL.

Mr Suresh Kumar K V, General Manager, Technology Planning, BEL, exchanged the contract documents with Mr Vadim Belyaev, Deputy Head, Offset Division, JSC Rosoboron, in the presence of Mr M V Gowtama, CMD, BEL, and Mrs Irina Ryazantseva, Coordinator, Offset Programmes.


Setting up of industrial facilities under the contract for manufacture of aviation hoses is fully consistent with the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ programme. As a result of the implementation of the Offset project, BEL will obtain a cost-effective, state-of-the-art technology based on modern production and testing machinery and proven technological processes manufacturing high-quality aviation hoses certified for international standards for all types of aircraft operating in India. The active operation of numerous aircraft of the Indian Air Force creates constant demand for aviation hoses, which are consumables in nature.


BEL signs MoU with BPL Medical Technologies 

At Aero India 2021, Bengaluru, Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and BPL Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd today entered into an MoU for co-operation in the field of medical products and solutions to provide affordable health care for the country and also to leverage the policy initiatives of the Indian Government, such as Make in India.

Vinay Kumar Katyal, Director (Bangalore Complex), BEL, and Mr Sunil Khurana, CEO & Managing Director, BPL Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd, exchanged the MoU documents in the presence of senior officers of both the companies.

BEL and BPL Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd are inclined to co-operate and work together pursuant to which necessary manufacturing ToT and License Grant shall be made to BEL by BPL Medical to enable manufacture and sale of Patient Monitoring Systems and C-ARM Surgical Imaging System.

FICCI seminar on MRO ecosystem

Air Marshal Vibhas Pande, Air Officer-in-Charge, Maintenance (AOM), IAF today said that four pillars needed to achieve a convergence or synergy between commercial or civil and defence MRO (maintenance, repairs & overhauls) are effects of scale; leveraging skills; skill development, and process.

Addressing the session on “Convergence of Civil & Defence MRO’ at Aero India 2021, Air Marshal Pande elaborated that the MRO for both civil and defence depends on effects of scale; skills- leveraging skills of former servicemen who have maintenance capabilities; skill development of the younger workforce, and the process of inspection & quality to ensure safety.

Elaborating on the MRO business in the country, Air Marshal Pande said that it has grown exponentially and has great prospects to further grow. “The scope is phenomenal. As on date our dependence on foreign OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) is to the tune of 85 per cent. The civil aviation sector and the MSMEs can contribute in a large way. There is huge scope, capacity and potential in the country to create an all-new ecosystem as far as defence MRO is concerned,” he added.

When we look at the MRO, it is not only the airframe and the engine, but every piece of machinery, system, and sub-system that need repairs in its lifetime. Spares are divided into two- AGS (aircraft general spares) and non-AGS, the manufacturing of which is a project in itself, he said.

On maintenance and quality, Air Marshal Pande quipped that we (India) are the only Air Force in the world that keeps our machines fly worthy. “The quality of a defence equipment must meet the norms and once it's achieved there are no limits,” he further added.

Mr Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, MoCA, Govt of India mentioned about recycling of deregistered aircraft that the RBI has given a green signal to. “Recycling is a huge industry. It was being done with ships initially, and the same can now be done with aircraft that have been deregistered by the DGCA. The govt and the RBI is gradually working to take down roadblocks that hindered the path,” he said.

Dubey also added that any deregistered aircraft can be taken down for parts or components free of tax and without any paperwork required. It now falls in the Free to Export list of the RBI.

Further, Mr Dubey said that the NAB (National Aeronautics Board), announced in mid- January this year, much like the two other major hi-tech sectors like atomic and space, will be headed by the Prime Minister himself. It aims to cut out on all bureaucracy to function.

“The concept is to go from generics to specifics. Atmanirbhar Bharat is no more a slogan. There is now a focus on outcome rather than output,” Mr Dubey added.

Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India said that under Atmanirbhar Bharat there are world class MROs that need to scale up, develop and showcase what they can do to the world. “India will be an MRO hub for both defence and civil aviation,” he said.

SP Shukla, Chair FICCI Defence & Aerospace Committee and Group President (Defence, Aero, Agri & Steel); Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra Group said that our govt is committed to developing the MRO ecosystem in India. “India is currently the world’s third largest aviation market. The Udaan Scheme is also a key component of NCAP as it looks to enhance regional connectivity by operationalising over 400 regional airports in the coming years.


The Indian MRO market, said Mr Shukla, is estimated at close to USD 800 million, which is only a small fraction of the global MRO market. “Further with the expected increase in fleet size of all Indian airlines to almost 1800 aircraft in the next 20 years, the domestic MRO market would need to grow exponentially to provide on ground support to the large air fleet in India,” he said.

Defence MROs are not very different to civil MROs and this segment to grow too. Currently it is limited to base repair depots of the IAF and the HAL. Involvement of Pvt industry has already commenced, and it needs to increase further, Mr Shukla added.

Sudhakar Gande, Co-chair, FICCI Defence & Aerospace Committee and CEO, Jupiter Capital Pvt Ltd said that in integrating the Atmanirbhar policy while building a global MRO we need to scale up, developing and leveraging skills, technology, and simpler processes.

Praveen PA, Director, Aerospace & Defence, Govt of Telangana; Col KV Kuber (Retd), Director, Defence & Aerospace, E&Y India; Mr Bharat Malkani, Chairman & MD, Max Aerospace & Aviation Ltd; Mr D Anand Bhaskar, MD & CEO, Air Works; Mr Luigi Celmi, CEO, Lufthansa Technik Services India; Mr CS Tomar, MD, Tomar Aviation Services; Mr Ravi Menon, Director, Air Works, also shared their views on the convergence of the civil and defence MRO ecosystem in the country.

Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor has investments over Rs. 5000 crores

Launched in January 2019, the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor (TNDIC) has investments worth Rs. 5,000 crores in pipeline. There is an investment commitment of over Rs. 8,000 crores within 1.5 years of project launch. 

The Tamil Nadu government has set aside land in Chennai; Hosur; Salem; Coimbatore and Trichy which are the nodes in the corridor. It is setting up common testing facilities in each node and IIT Chennai and DRDO are the knowledge partners for TNDIC. At Aero India, TNDIC showcased some of the companies that are adding to the manufacturing ecosystem of aerospace and defence products and solutions.

Sriperumbudur going to be A&D hub

In the Chennai node, Sriperumbudur is being developed as an aerospace and defence hub. It has developed on 250 acres facilities to house over 50 companies comprising avionics manufacturing centre; warehousing; skill development; common testing and certification facilities and centre for excellence. Similarly another aero hub for advanced computing and design engineering with built up space of one million square feet is coming up here. It will have advanced computing software / hardware facilities; supercomputer, data centres etc; technology incubation centre; and virtual reality design centre. 

This corridor will create new defence production facilities and promote clusters with necessary testing and certification facilities, export facilitation centres, technology transfer facilitation, etc. 

Several DPSUs like OFB, BEL, BEML, Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd., and many private industries had committed investments upto Rs.3123.50 crore during the inauguration of this Corridor. As on 31.12.2019, investments to the tune of Rs.300 crore have been made by the Public Sector undertakings. In addition, many private companies like L&T Defence, LMW & Roots Industries in Coimbatore, Data Pattern& EASAT Radars in Chennai, Salem Aerospace Engineers in Salem, Titan industries in Hosur have also made their investments to the tune of Rs.700 crore in the Defence Corridor. Boeing India has an Engineering Back up office in Chennai where more than 700 Engineers are working.

L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, a JV between Larsen & Toubro and France’s MBDA, have obtained the provisional approval for their SEZ unit in Coimbatore from Government of India, for producing missile weapon systems.

Tamil Nadu Industrial Explosives Limited has signed an MoU with Bharat Electronics Limited for reviving its defunct factory for producing ammunition and to set up a Centre of Excellence for ammunition related technologies. An Aerospace division is being established by BHEL in Ranipet with an investment of Rs.200 crore.

Land acquisition has commenced for the satellite launch station of ISRO at Kulasekarapattinam in Thoothukudi District. This launching station will be established at an estimated investment cost of Rs.1000 crore. This new infrastructure along with the existing Propulsion Complex of ISRO at Mahendragiri will further enhance the State’s prominent position in the space sector.

LMW and Boeing have jointly set up a Skill Development Centre in Coimbatore to provide man power support to the Aerospace & Defence Industries. A feasibility study by TIDCO through IIT-Madras for developing Ulunderpet airstrip as an Aviation Technology Development complex including UAV Testing, Flight Academy, Aeromodeling, etc is in progress.


Airbus signs MoU with GMR on aviation services

Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GMR Group, a leading Indian aviation infrastructure developer, to explore collaboration opportunities across aviation services, technologies and innovation.

The MoU was signed at Aero India 2021. Airbus and GMR Group will team up to explore potential synergies in several strategic areas of aviation services, including maintenance, components, training, digital and airport services.

“As one of the leading operators of airports globally GMR is pleased to partner with Airbus to bring the best possible experience and services to the airlines and passengers who are our shared customers, leveraging our complementary strengths and market presence. Under this partnership, Airbus and GMR teams will work together and innovate across areas such as maintenance, airport operations and air cargo supply chain among others to realise our shared goals,” said SGK Kishore, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, South at GMR.

 As part of the MoU, Airbus and GMR will collaborate to explore a broad scope of aviation services both for commercial and military aircraft to benefit the entire aerospace ecosystem in the country.

“Airbus and the GMR Group are committed to high standards of operational efficiency, innovation and sustainability. Through this partnership we will align in our mission to provide world class aviation services in the region,” said Rémi Maillard, President and Managing Director, Airbus India & South Asia. “We will work together towards developing solutions that will shape the future of      aviation services and boost the development of aviation infrastructure in the region.”

Airbus has been fostering and supporting the development of the Indian aerospace and aviation industry. As part of the partnership, Airbus and GMR Group will work together on several areas to support and further develop the aerospace ecosystem in the country.