HAL for mod­erni­sa­tion of IAF Avro fleet

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES - By SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

While a re­quest for pro­posal (RFP) on the re­place­ment of 59 HS-748 Avro trans­ports is cur­rently un­der eval­u­a­tion by po­ten­tial ven­dors, the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Limited (HAL) has an­nounced that it is look­ing to pro­pose a life-ex­ten­sion of the cur­rent IAF fleet with an engine re­place­ment, among other sys­tems.

Ac­cord­ing to the Au­gust 15 re­quest for in­for­ma­tion (RFI) re­leased by HAL, “Cur­rently there are 59 HS-748 air­craft in ser­vice with our op­er­a­tors. Due to low util­i­sa­tion rate (aver­age 350 hours/ year) ma­jor­ity of air­craft have tech­ni­cal resid­ual life around 80,000 hours. Ow­ing to the good health of the air­frame and con­sid­er­able resid­ual life, re­place­ment of Rolls-Royce Dart engine with mod­ern fuel-ef­fi­cient en­gines on th­ese 59 HS-784 air­craft is be­ing planned.” HAL has stip­u­lated that it re­quires a re­sponse by Septem­ber 30 this year, though it is likely that this dead­line will be ex­tended. In March this year, the Min­istry of De­fence re­leased an RFP for the re­place­ment of 56 Avros: 16 air­craft in fly­away con­di­tion by the se­lected global ven­dor, and the re­main­ing 40 built in In­dia un­der a part­ner­ship with an In­dian com­pany.

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