IRAL turns 20, to work towards swift fleet serviceability of Sukhois

Written by: Dr Anantha Krishnan M
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Bengaluru, Feb 22: The Indo-Russian Aviation Limited (IRAL) has been mandated with the task of getting the transfer of technology (ToT) of ‘36 critical items' identified to be causing frequent concerns to Indian Air Force's (IAF) frontline fighter Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI).

In an exclusive interview to OneIndia, S Manicka Vasagam, Chief Executive Officer said that IRAL has been asked to work with the Russians to get the ToT of these 36 items and manufacture them in Nashik.

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"We are a supply chain management company. We have completed 20 years in this business. We are on an expansion mode now and have set our mission parameters to set up MRO for all Russian-origin aircraft in Nashik," said Vasagam, who recently took over as the CEO.

IRAL is strategic joint venture company between Indian companies Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), ICICI Bank Ltd and Russian companies JSC-RAC-MiG, GRPZ Ryazan and Aviazapchast PLC.

It was set up in 1994 for providing a comprehensive range of products and services for the repair, overhaul and modernisation of all fighter aircraft, transport aircraft and helicopters of Russian (former Soviet Union) origin.

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Sukhoi fleet serviceability must be 70 %

A Ministry of Defence official told OneIndia that it has been made mandatory to HAL that the serviceability of Sukhois should be always maintained 70 per cent and above, so that the AOG (aircraft on ground) status is minimised.

"We have told all the stakeholders that the requisite materials (spares and components) needed for Sukhoi fleet serviceability must be kept in ready for the next five years. We have identified HFRA (High Failure Rate Aggregates) items as 36 and their availability should now be made in India," the official said.

MoD is also backing HAL's move to become the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for the supply of spares for Sukhois. HAL had also announced during Aero India about company's move to become an OEM.

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Currently HAL's Nashik Division produces 12 Sukhois every year, which is expected to be increased to 20 aircraft in the next phase. HAL hopes to finally take the production numbers to 30 Sukhois per year, after ramping up its lines in Nashik.

IRAL takes business to Algeria

Vasagam confirmed to OneIndia that IRAL, through its business associate (Spets Techno Export, Ukraine), will be supplying Su-30 avionics to the Algerian Air Force.

"Knowing the expertise in manufacturing of the Su-30 aircraft avionics at HAL's Hyderabad division, this new business avenue has been initiated," says Vasagam, who has been serving HAL for the last 30 years.

HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju said that IRAL's new business propositions sinks in perfectly with Prime Minister Narednra Modi's ‘Make in India' mission.

"IRAL with help of HAL, Hyderabad Avionics Division is expected to generate an export avenue worth $3.6 million. In line with this, IRAL is exploring such business avenues for HAL products with other countries having fleet of Russian origin aircraft," says Raju.

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He tweets @writetake.)

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