India on August 29 approved industrial offset proposals to acquire 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters for the Indian Air Force, a transaction valued at $2.5 billion.
Companies based in Bangalore
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into Rolls-Royce military deals. The investigation began just a day before the announcement of forthcoming elections and the beginning of the “model code of conduct” that disallows announcement of new projects. The probe follows a voluntary disclosure last December by Rolls-Royce to its partner Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) that it had used a consultant, Singapore-based Aashmore, for sales and logistics support in its business in the energy sector.
Heightened awareness of the steady growth in regional air traffic among small and medium-sized cities has convinced the Indian government to commit some $2 billion for the development of a 70- to 90-seat civilian aircraft. “This is a strategic sector where there is a need to have a presence in the long term, particularly in view of the rapid growth of our aviation sector.” said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
A target for criticism over delays in projects in the past, India’s largest defense manufacturer, government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is undergoing a transformation of its human resource through training and innovative programs. This is focusing on two urgent requirements–the overdue Light Combat Aircraft (LCA); and the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT).
The Indian Army has placed a $77 million order with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for 20 Cheetal helicopters, a re-engined variant of the Aerospatiale SA 316B Lama that was built under license in India as the Cheetah. The order is a short-term measure for logistics support to the Indian troops on the Siachen Glacier because of delays to the twice-bid competition for 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH).
India’s bid to design and develop its own indigenous civil aircraft is once again under discussion. According to government sources, a new policy decision is expected on the civil aircraft program by February 12.
Government-owned Indian defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) has
launched a $12 million Strategic Electronics Manufacturing facility spread across 196 acres in Kasargod in the southern state of Kerala. It will produce advanced avionics for aircraft and helicopters. The facility is the manufacturing extension of HAL’s Hyderabad-based R&D unit for avionics–the Strategic Electronics Research and Design Center.
Maintaining India’s fleet of more than 230 aging Cheetah and Chetak reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters is turning into a nightmare due to unavailability of spares, according to K.C. Nanda, general manager of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s Barrackpore Division, who sounded the warning at a defense conference held in Kolkata in August. HAL built both the Cheetah and the Chetak under license from Eurocopter.
India’s civil aviation authority, the DGCA, is considering grounding all Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Dhruvs until the airframe is modified around the intermediate gearbox (IGB) in the tail fin. In some helicopters, “cracks were observed on the rib bottom of the IGB [and an associated area],” according to a proposed airworthiness directive issued in March.
India’s civil aviation authority, the DGCA, is considering grounding all civil Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv light twin helicopters until the airframe is modified around the intermediate gearbox (IGB) in the tailfin. In some helicopters, “Cracks were observed on the rib bottom of the IGB and the associated area of the fin torsion box assembly,” according to a recently proposed Airworthiness Directive.
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