Putting its hat in the ring for a naval requirement of light utility helicopters, state-owned aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has asked the defence ministry to consider its indigenous chopper as well, against just looking at international companies like Airbus and Bell for replacements. That the state-owned company has informed the defence ministry about the progress in its light utility helicopter (LUH) programme that undertook its first flight in September 2016 and is planned for production starting this year.
The chief minister (CM), Manohar Lal Khattar has invited Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) to set up ancillary units in the Hisar Aviation Hub being set up by the Haryana government. He has also invited the consortium of cyber security companies under Israel aviation industry to set up base in Haryana which houses top 200 companies in the world. Khattar has extended the invitation during his visit to the IAI where he was explained by Israeli officials the innovations made in the field of aerospace and defence Industry. During the discussions, officials from IAI evinced keen interest in the aviation hub and agreed to visit Hisar next month.
Eyeing India's lucrative military modernisation programme, aerospace giant Airbus has offered to set up a global manufacturing hub for its Panther helicopter in the country if the company gets a multi-billion-dollar contract to supply a fleet of 111 naval multi-utility choppers to the Navy. Pierre de Bausset, president and managing director of the Airbus Group in India, said the company was ready to transfer critical technology to India for the helicopter programme and discussions were underway on it with the Defence Ministry and other stakeholders.
The government has came out with a fresh information memorandum for strategic stake sale of helicopter services provider Pawan Hans wherein bidders need to have a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore. The latest memorandum has been issued days after the government withdrew the previous note apparently due to a tepid response from investors. Pawan Hans is a joint venture between the government and state-owned ONGCNSE 0.41 %. Under the disinvestment proposal, the government plans to offload its entire 51 per cent stake in the company.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the sole indigenous manufacturer of fighter jets, aircraft and helicopters for the Indian Armed Forces, achieved an all-time high turnover of over Rs 18,000 crore (provisional and unaudited) during the financial year 2017-18 and produced 40 new aircraft/ helicopters and 105 new engines. The government-owned company had recorded a turnover of Rs 17,605 crore during the 2016-17 fiscal. HAL issued a statement on April 2, 2018, in which it claimed to have overhauled 220 aircraft/helicopters and 550 engines. HAL also received an order of 41 Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and eight Chetak helicopters from Indian Armed Forces during the 2017-18 fiscal.
With the Indian Air Force (IAF) issuing the requests for information (RFI) for purchase of 110 fighter aircraft at an estimated total cost of $15 billion, the race has intensified among three major aerospace companies US-based Boeing, European firm Eurofighter and Russia’s Mikoyan to tie up with an Indian partner. State-run Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) could be favoured by these global giants for a tie-up.
Coinciding with French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit in March, European aviation major Airbus has refused to extend commercial bids validity for 14 twin-engine EC725 helicopters, estimated to cost Rs 2,000 crore, for the Indian Coast Guard. The company was extending the pricing as the interest rates of the European Central Bank (ECB) at the time were low. This continuous extension also led to erosion. The assumptions of inflation and interest rate hikes in the calculations of the company’s pricing for the helicopters have made the contract financially untenable at this time.
China's first airliner designed to compete with Airbus and Boeing is off to a slow start. After the fanfare surrounding the C919's maiden flight in May, the single-aisle plane didn't fly again for four months and the two test aircraft have only made about two dozen flights since, well below the normal schedule for a new commercial jet. The dearth of flight time is a setback for a flagship project in President Xi Jinping's plan to build a globally competitive aerospace industry and reduce China's dependence on foreign aircraft makers.