In a major step towards self-reliance in defence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugrate Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) Helicopter Factory in Tumakuru, Karnataka to the nation on February 6th, 2023. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and senior officials from the Ministry of Defence will be in attendance for the occasion.
Greenfield Helicopter Factory - A One-Stop Solution
Spread over 615 acres, the greenfield helicopter factory has been designed to be a one-stop solution for all of India's helicopter requirements. It will be India's largest helicopter manufacturing facility and will initially produce Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs).
LUH - An Indigenous Marvel
The LUH is a 3-ton class, single-engine, multipurpose helicopter that has been designed and developed indigenously. It boasts unique features of high maneuverability and will initially produce 30 helicopters per year, with plans to increase production to 60 and then 90 per year in a phased manner. The first LUH has undergone flight testing and is ready for unveiling.
Expanding Horizons - LCHs, IMRHs, and More
In the future, the factory will be augmented to produce other helicopters such as Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMRHs). It will also be used for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of the LCH, LUH, Civil Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and IMRH. The factory also has the potential to cater to exports of civil LUH.
The HAL's Roadmap to the Future
The HAL aims to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes, with a total business of over Rs. 400 billion over a period of 20 years. The Tumakuru facility will create direct and indirect employment and boost the development of surrounding areas through its CSR activities and community-centric programs. The proximity of the factory to the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru will also support the development of the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the region.
The factory is equipped with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques and has facilities such as a heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control, and various supporting service facilities. The foundation stone for the facility was laid by the Prime Minister in 2016.
Towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat
The Tumakuru helicopter factory will enable India to meet its entire requirement for helicopters without imports, giving a much-needed boost to the Prime Minister's vision of a self-reliant India in helicopter design, development, and manufacturing. The inauguration of the factory marks a significant milestone in India's journey towards self-reliance in defence.