'LCH Has the Distinction of Being the First Attack Helicopter to Land in Forward Bases at Siachen Which Has Not Been Achieved by Any Other Helicopter in the World’
Chairman and managing director, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, T. Suvarna Raju

T. Suvarna Raju

What are the updates on the LCA programme?
The work on LCA Mk1 FOC activities pertaining to integration of weapons and air to air-refueling probe, expansion of envelope is under progress and the FOC is expected by December 2017.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is working on ramping up the production capacity from eight to 16 aircraft per annum. With increased level of outsourcing and enhanced participation of Indian private industry, HAL will be able to speed up the deliveries to cater to the present and future requirements.

The IAF squadron with three aircraft is already operational at Bengaluru since July 2016. It is planned to complete the order for 40 LCA Mk1 by 2019-20.

LCA MK1A is an improved version that incorporates enhanced combat capabilities like AESA radar, Air-to-Air refueling, Self Protection Jammer (SPJ), BVR missile, etc in addition to providing better maintainability features. The process of identification of new systems and their global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) is under progress. The development of this version is likely to be completed by the end of 2018. The series production will follow thereafter. Moving over to production of Mk1A from Mk1 is expected to take place seamlessly.

How is the FGFA programme progressing? What are the new timelines in this programme?
The Preliminary Design phase of FGFA is complete. Negotiations for R&D contract between Indian and Russian side is concluded and the final report submitted to the Chairman, Cost Negotiation Committee (CNC) for further processing. The development timeline would be 84 months after the contract is signed.

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