HAL Ties Up With Russian Firm For Transport Aircraft

New Delhi, April 29: | Updated: Apr 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
After three years of intensive negotiations, the governments of India and Russia have finalised second joint production program. Under the second joint production program, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and Russias Irkutsk Aviation Industrial Association, JSC have signed a formal agreement last week, on April 24 in Moscow for co-development and co-production of multirole transport aircraft (MTA).

The agreement was signed jointly HAL chairman Nalini Ranjan Mohanty and Irkutsk Aviation Industrial Association, president Alexey Fedorov.

According to sources, the $350 million programme will begin by September this year. The project is being executed on a fifty-fifty basis and the assembly lines of the MTA will begin simultaneously in Irkutsk in Russia and HALs facilities in Nasik.

The MTA will be both a passenger and a cargo aircraft. The price of the aircraft is estimated to be around $15 million and the first prototype will role out in 2006 and thereafter 110 pieces of the aircraft will be assembled at Nasik facilities. The aircraft will replace the aging AN-32 transport aircraft currently with the Indian Air Force (IAF) bought from erstwhile USSR and Russia.

The MTA will have a tri-cycle landing gear and two turbofan engines with around 11 tonne of thrust each and is designed to 55 tonne of maximum take-off weight, airspeed of 800-870 km/h. The flight range of the aircraft would be up to 2500 km with 20 tonne payload. The range of aircraft can be increased up to 6000 km with the 4.5 tons payload.

A senior official of HAL said, negotiations are also underway to make provision for export of the MTA at a future date to what he said,friendly countries.