Bengaluru, Feb 19: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will soon have Dhruv maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hubs all across the operational bases, including in forward areas. There are a total of 193 Dhruvs being operational today.
Replying to a query from OneIndia, HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju said that the Dhruv MROs are primarily aimed at enhancing the operational strength of the Indian Army.
"Our largest customer is the Indian Army and we are in talks with them for setting up the facilities to augment operational strength. We need already existing hangers or land to set up these MROs," Raju said.
HAL Chairman said that the setting up of the MRO is an area closer to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's heart.
"The Dhruv MROs will ensure that the users will get all the spares at faster rate enabling the availability of the helicopter too without any delay. We are having a meeting in this regard next week and we will be making a detail presentation to the government," Raju added.
IOC for LCH by October
Raju said that the Initial Operational Clearance of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) will be achieved by October 2015. The 4th technology demonstrator (TD-4) will fly April this year. "We hope to have the certification completed by April 2017," Raju added.
On the fight generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project, Raju said that a desired result will come out by soon.
"There have been many turbulences in the area of transfer of technology. We are the prime agency for the programme and we have invested $295 million into the project. The preliminary design of the product is done and currently discussions on the development phase in continuing," he added.
Photos: A Veeramani
(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)