helicopter plant in India: Recently, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the helicopter manufacturing facility in Tumakuru in Karnataka. The foundation for the facility was laid in the year 2016. The factory is the milestone in the journey of Atmanirbhar Bharat. This facility is not only India’s but also Asia’s largest helicopter manufacturing factory. Spread across 615 acres, the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) facility will initially manufacture Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) before moving to Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). At a later stage, the biggest helicopter plant of India will also begin the production of Indian Multi Role Helicopters (IMRH).
Bengaluru to Tumakuru
According to retired Air Marshall, Anil Chopra, DG, Centre for Air Power Studies, “The HAL complex in Bengaluru was overloaded with work and had run out of manufacturing space. India has made its mark in manufacturing a variety of helicopters; and since the requirements of the three services and the paramilitary are huge, there was a need to set up a larger facility.”
For the kick start, HAL has already got an order of 15 limited series production Light Combat Helicopters. The order was given by Indian Army and IAF. Both have a combined projected demand of 160 LCH. They are envisaged to replace Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, which are life-line for the troops in high altitude areas of Siachin.
As per the plan of HAL, it is looking forward to manufacture 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes. As far as business is considered, HAL is planning to achieve the target of Rs. 4 lakh crores over a period of 20 years.
The factory will prove to be one of the largest employment generators in the region. Government and especially the defence ministry along with HAL is excited to make the facility a one stop solution for all the helicopters’ requirement of the country. The facility will not only manufacture but also maintain, repair and overhaul the all types of helicopters.
The HAL facility has already manufactured a LUH which has been flight tested. With a current capacity of almost 30 helicopters per year, it will be augmented in a phase wise manner to 90. The IMRH that will be manufactured in the facility, will be equivalent to Russian Mi-17 choppers.
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Biggest helicopter plant in Asia and India
Being the biggest helicopter plant of Asia and India, it has an immense capacity to manufacture helicopters of all ranges. This will not only boost India’s defence power but will also make India a major defence equipment manufacturer. Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat are the most esteemed policies of the central government and so, the government is giving its full focus on the channelisation of policy into reality. And, defence sector is fulfilling the aspirations of the government.
In fulfilling the Atmanirbhar dream, India has already imposed a phased ban on 411 different weapon system and equipment including helicopters and aircraft. This was done for 3 years to boost indigenous defence manufacturing. And, now it has started to fructify.
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