New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday inaugurate a greenfield helicopter production facility of state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Karnataka’s Tumakuru that will initially produce light utility helicopters (LUHs).
The defence ministry billed the 615-acre factory as India’s largest helicopter-manufacturing facility and it has been planned as a one-stop solution for the country’s chopper requirements.
Officials said the HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of three to 15 tonnes, with a total business of more than Rs 4 lakh crore over a period of 20 years.
The facility will be augmented to produce other helicopters such as light combat helicopters (LCHs) and Indian multirole helicopters (IMRHs). It will also be used for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of LCHs, LUHs, civil advanced light helicopters (ALHs) and IMRHs in the future, the officials said.
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Potential exports of civil light utility helicopters would also be catered to from the Tumakuru factory, which is at a distance of around 70 kilometres from Bengaluru.
“In yet another step towards ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation a helicopter factory of the HAL in Tumakuru, Karnataka on February 6,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and senior officials of the ministry will attend the ceremony.
The foundation stone of the facility was laid by the prime minister in 2016.
The ministry said the facility has been planned with an aim to make it a one-stop solution for all helicopter requirements of the country.
“It is India’s largest helicopter-manufacturing facility and will initially produce LUHs,” it said.
The LUH is an indigenously designed and developed three-tonne class, single-engine multipurpose utility helicopter with unique features of high manoeuvrability.
Initially, the factory in Tumakuru will produce around 30 helicopters per year and the capacity can be enhanced to 60 and then 90 per year in a phased manner, the officials said.
The first LUH has been flight-tested and is ready for unveiling, they added.
“Besides generating direct and indirect employment, the Tumakuru facility will boost the development of surrounding areas through its CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities, with large-scale community-centric programmes on which the company will spend substantial amounts. All this will result in improvement in the people’s lives in the region,” the ministry said.
It said the proximity of the factory with the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru will boost the aerospace-manufacturing ecosystem in the region and support skill and infrastructure development.
“With the establishment of facilities like heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control and various supporting service facilities, the factory is fully operational,” the ministry said.
It added that the factory is being equipped with state-of-the-art “Industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques” for its operations.