Saturday, June 29, 2019

India needs 600 civil copters, HAL woos pvt players

India needs at least 600 helicopters in the civil sector now. But, instead of relying on costly imports, can Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) address this demand by co-producing the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv's civil variant with private participation? 
Having clocked over 2.4 lakh flying hours in its defence and civil avatars combined, the ALH has been in action for some time now. But a recent Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) airworthiness directive issued after complaints of vibration and jerks in the Civil-Dhruv's cockpit, has put the aviation major in a spot of bother.   Dismissing this as a precautionary letter, HAL has instead redoubled its efforts to woo the private sector in the Civil-Dhruv project under Transfer of Technology (ToT). On Saturday, HAL organised a workshop for Indian private players, chaired by Secretary, Defence Production, Dr Ajay Kumar.
HAL is the Design Authority and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of ALH-Dhruv. The upgraded Civil-Dhruv is equipped with the latest avionics and glass cockpit and is under production and certification from DGCA.
The partnership programme has already moved on. A Request for Quotation (RFQ) was issued in April 2019. Under this deal, the selected Indian Partner will also be required to provide support to the customers throughout the life of the product (20 years).
Prospective bidders, various supply chain partners, industry chambers of commerce such as  ASSOCHAM, FICCI, CII, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), Karnataka State Development Council and Karnataka Udyog Mitra were invited to the workshop.
Indigenously designed and developed by HAL, the multi-role, multi-mission helicopter in the 5.5-ton weight class is currently operated by both defence and civil customers.
29/06/19 Rasheed Kappan/Deccan Herald

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