Ahead of the 14th edition of Aero-India 2023, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is set to inaugurate a state-run helicopter factory in Tumakuru, Karnataka next week.
The facility is going to be inaugurated on Feb 6, 2023, and will be operated by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). Present on the occasion will be defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officers from the Ministry of Defence and other stakeholders.
With a total area of 615 acres, the greenfield factory aims to be a one-stop destination for India’s helicopter requirements, starting with the production of Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs). The LUH, which has already completed flight testing, is a domestically-designed and developed single-engine, multi-purpose helicopter with a capacity of 3 tonnes and exceptional maneuverability. The facility plans to produce 30 LUHs annually, with the aim of increasing production to 60 and then 90 in a phased manner.
In the future, the factory also aims to expand its offerings to include Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMRHs), as well as serve as a maintenance and repair center for the aforementioned models, in addition to civil Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs). The factory also has potential for exports of civil LUHs.
With a target of producing over 1,000 helicopters with a total weight of 3-15 tons, HAL aims to generate a business value of more than Rs 4 lakh crores over the next 20 years. The Tumakuru facility is expected to bring direct and indirect job opportunities, while supporting local development through substantial company spending on community programs. Its location, close to HAL’s existing facilities in Bengaluru, will enhance the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem and encourage skill and infrastructure development, as well as improve access to medical and health care for nearby communities.
The Tumakuru factory, which was established in 2016, is fully operational and equipped with advanced Industry 4.0 tools and techniques for efficient operations. It features a heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control, and other supporting facilities. This marks a significant step forward for India in fulfilling its helicopter demand without imports and furthering the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in helicopter design, development, and production.