Ahead of the Aero India 2013 in Bengaluru from Feburary 6-9, the chairman of the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, RK Tyagi, chairman in his first exclusive interview to a financial daily says that the company is ready to take on challenges. Excerpts from the interview
1.India's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has been getting delayed, what is the latest update and what is happening with the naval version?
Ans:LCA is a prestigious national project in which HAL is the lead production agency and ADA is the lead designer. At present the design and production activities are going concurrently. However, HAL is geared up to commence delivery against the current order for LCA within three to six months of the aircraft certification (Initial Operation Clearance - IOC). We hope that ADA achieves IOC by the second quarter of 2013.
We have already initiated proactive action pertaining to tooling, assembly jigs and build requirements and we are in the process of streamlining various productionization activities which would lead to ramping up of production rate.
The maiden flight of the Naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), NP-1, was carried out successfully on April 27, 2012. Flight with undercarriage retraction was carried out on June 27, 2012. Presently the Naval LCA is being prepared for shore based testing facility trials.
2.Media reports indicate that HAL cannot and does not have the capacity to take in work orders and deliver on time when the 126 MMRCA deal is finalised. Your comments.
Ans:We are fully ready and geared up for MMRCA assignment. It is important to know that over the last 70 years of existence HAL has designed and manufactured 29 types of aircraft. This proves that the fundamental are in place to take-up any project including MMRCA.
HAL has taken up many programs under Licence manufacturing and has successfully absorbed the technology and completed the programs. And are confident that if the documentation is complete and there are no mismatches, we will be able to absorb the technology quickly and meet the challenging program timelines.
The price negotiations of the MMRCA (Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft) project have begun. HAL has been designated as the lead production agency. The process for setting up the required infrastructure for the project has already been initiated by HAL to meet the challenging timelines. A dedicated team under the leadership of a General Manager has already