Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will outsource approximately 70% of the Tejas multi-role fighter’s production work to the Indian private sector, the Times of India reports.
The move is being taken to accelerate the output of Tejas fighters. HAL currently produces eight aircraft annually, though it is intending to increase its output to 16 by 2019.
“With increased level of outsourcing and capacity within HAL, we will be able to speed up the deliveries to cater to the present and future requirements of our customers,” said a HAL official.
In a statement to the Times of India, a senior official of the Tejas program said, “Major sub-assemblies such as front fuselage, centre fuselage, rear fuselage, wings et al, have been outsourced to private industry. The orders have been placed and they need about an year to supply these.”
In turn, 85 private companies will be supporting the Tejas supply chain, with the leading firms being Dynamic Technologies Ltd. for the front fuselage; VEM Technologies for the centre fuselage; Alpha Tocol for the rear fuselage; Larsen and Toubro for the wings; and National Aerospace Laboratory and Tata Advanced Materials Limited for the tail fin and rudder.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) assigned its Tejas aircraft to No. 45 squadron Flying Daggers in 2016, which is currently five fighters, which it hopes to grow to 11 by March 2018.
Notes & Comments:
The outsourcing policy will enable HAL to benefit from the efficiencies of the Indian private sector, which has grown (in part) as a result of subassemblies manufacturing for overseas aviation vendors, among them Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Like the Tejas, the serial production of HAL’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) will also transition to private sector outsourcing. Coupled with forthcoming acquisitions made under the Strategic Partnership policy, such as the purchase of more than 230 naval helicopters, the Indian private sector is both slotted for growth and to form an integral piece of India’s defence sourcing.