HAL proposes single agency to deal with foreign OEMs
The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have decided to work on joint plans on various fronts for better understanding of issues so that both contribute effectively in India’s defence preparedness. The entire board of HAL and senior officials flew down from Bengaluru to interact with the top commanders of IAF at the conference held at the Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhavan) in New Delhi.
“Hand-holding is important considering the challenges involved in manufacturing and operational fronts”, said the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. On his part, HAL Chairman, Dr R.K. Tyagi, mooted the idea of putting up single group or team to deal with foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on all matters as these OEMs work with Air Force, Army, Navy and other multiple government agencies. “Normally these OEMs work with two or more agencies. There is greater cohesion, understanding and mutual benefits when these OEMs are dealt from one platform”, he said.
Senior IAF, MoD and HAL officials took part in the performance review with focus on challenges related to several fleets such as MiG-21, -27, -29, Su-30MKI, Mirage, Jaguar, Hawk, Kiran, Pilatus, Avro, Dornier, Chetak/Cheetah and Cheetal, ALH, RPA, Lakshya, etc. HAL supports 80 per cent of the IAF inventory.
The discussions also focused on indigenisation, quality and delivery timelines that are often demanding due to factors related to supply chain, transfer of technology and shortage of skilled manpower in the aviation/aerospace sector.
MiG-27 in action