New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, will inaugurate a helicopter factory at Tumakuru, Karnataka, on February 6, just ahead of Aero India – 2023. The state-run plane-maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will operate the greenfield chopper factory.
The defence minister, Rajnath Singh, and other senior defence officials will also be present on the occasion.
It may be noted that Modi laid the foundation stone of the facility in 2016.
According to a media release by the Defence PRO, the 615-acre factory is planned with a vision to become a “one-stop solution” for all helicopter requirements of the country. It will be the largest helicopter-manufacturing facility in India and will initially produce the indigenously designed and developed light utility helicopters (LUHs).
The factory is expected to produce around 30 helicopters per year, initially, which can be enhanced to 60, and then gradually increased to 90 per year. The first LUH has been flight tested and is ready for unveiling.
Later, the factory will be enhanced and expanded to produce other helicopters such as light combat helicopters (LCHs) and Indian multirole helicopters (IMRHs). The facility will also be used for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of LCHs, LUHs, civil advanced light helicopters (ALHs) and IMRHs in the future. Potential exports of civil LUH will also be catered to from this factory.
The release further said the HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes, with a total business of over ₹400,000 crores over a period of 20 years.