Bengaluru: With India set to indigenously manufacture next generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) having inked an order for 83 fighter jets from Indian Air Force, DPSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is close to giving Rs 9,000 crore worth of orders to MSMEs and private sector partners.
HAL said it plans to heavily involve the private sector, with five major tier one partners who will supply key components and parts of the fuselage and encouraging smaller players to shore up capability.
“At present, the indigenous content is above 52 per cent, we will have to see how to increase the indigenous content. We want to improve to 65 per cent provided that some of the vendors can come up and provide us finished units,” HAL Chairman R Madhavan said at the ongoing Aero India show in Bengaluru.
The top executive said that there are likely to be close to 600 suppliers of all shapes and sizes for the LCA Mk-1A programme by the end of this year as production is ramped up to meet the requirements of the Air Force. With the Rs 48,000 crore deal signed at the air show, HAL now has three years to deliver the first aircraft and then ramp up production capability to 16 jets a year at twin production lines.
Madhavan said that additional lines can be easily set up to ramp up production further if the need arises, given potential export orders for the LCA Mk-1A fighter. With India pitching the jet for exports in the neighbourhood, HAL believes that the LCA Mk-1A has a good possibility for additional orders. “We hope we can conclude something very quickly. There has been a lot of interest, mostly from South East Asian nations for the Mk-1A version,” the chairman said.
Beyond the LCA, the state owned company is now looking at getting orders for its indigenous HTT-40 basic trainer, which is on offer to the armed forces for pilot training. The air force handed over a formal request for proposals to HAL at the aero show for the HTT 40, getting a step closer to inducting the aircraft.