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INTERVIEW
‘The Indian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft is Planned for Induction From 2018’
Chairman, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Ashok Nayak
What is the update on the current projects at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd?
We are manufacturing 140 plus 40 Su-30MKI for the Indian Air Force. So far we have produced around 80 aircraft and we are on schedule this year on this programme. In addition, the IAF will be getting 42 more aircraft, which is also progressing satisfactorily.

Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer is the other major programme. The problems during the initial stages have been overcome and the production process is now progressing smoothly. As you know, we have recently signed the contract for 57 additional Hawks, 40 for the IAF and 17 for the Indian Navy. We do not anticipate any delays in this programme. The other programme on the anvil is Dornier, where we have the order for 16 aircraft from the Indian Coast Guard. We are slightly ahead on this programme and hope to get an order for two aircraft from Seychelles. In addition, the Dornier upgrade programme of 28 aircraft for the IAF is also moving smoothly
Apart from this, we have received a major order for 73 Intermediate Jet Trainers for the IAF in April 2010. Regarding the Advanced Light Helicopter, around 20 machines have been built as of date. There has been some delay in this project and we hope to overcome this in the next few weeks. We hope to deliver the first few ALH utility version to the Indian Army and the IAF soon. The next programme is the LCA. We are focussed on getting the IOC by December this year, so that we can deliver the aircraft as per the laid down delivery schedules. The IAF is contemplating to buy 20 more LCA (MkI) for which we are geared up.

The development programme of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is progressing as per plan and so far 45 flights have been completed. Well before the end of this year, we expect the second prototype of LCH to join the development programme followed by the third prototype in the beginning of the next year. The weight of the LCH will be reduced in phases so as to achieve the desired weight in the third prototype. We are also working on the design for the Basic Turboprop Trainer. The design of the Light Utility Helicopter has been frozen and the development and flight testing plans have been finalised.
On 9 September 2010, we signed the Share Holders Agreement to set up a Joint Venture Company for the Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) with Russia. This is a huge programme for a 15-20 ton payload capability aircraft whose overall weight would be 65 tons. The formalities of incorporation of the company will be accomplished in the next two months and we will be engaged fully on this programme.

The other mega programme coming up is the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), the preliminary design contract of which is under government approval. This is expected to be cleared shortly.
 
 
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