Asean nations look to Hindustan Aeronautics for military platforms: CMD, HAL

In an exclusive conversation with Financial Express Online, R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said, “HAL has been pursuing such overseas opportunities and has offered these platforms to various countries, with the support of Indian Missions.” He was responding to a question about countries in the region looking at not only the LCA, ALH but LCH too.

Asean nations look to Hindustan Aeronautics for military platforms: CMD, HAL
This helicopter is designed and developed in India and it is a twin engine, multi-role and multi-mission new generation helicopter. It belongs to the 5.5 ton weight class and can be deployed for different military operations. (Image Credits: HAL)

Various countries in the ASEAN region have evinced interest in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) platforms, particularly, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) `Tejas’ and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) platforms based on fleet replacement requirements.

In an exclusive conversation with Financial Express Online, R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said, “HAL has been pursuing such overseas opportunities and has offered these platforms to various countries, with the support of Indian Missions.” He was responding to a question about countries in the region looking at not only the LCA, ALH but LCH too.

Countries seeking LCA

“The leads are being actively pursued and a demonstration of the LCA Tejas was made by the IAF at the Singapore Air Show in February 2022,” HAL CMD added.

According to him state-owned HAL is also pursuing opportunities for export of such platforms by participating in various Defence Exhibitions in the countries of ASEAN region.

Asean is a 10-member regional bloc. It includes countries like Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

After inducting batteries of anti-ship BrahMos missiles, the Philippines is looking at upgrading its military aircraft fleet with Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Advanced Light Helicopter and Light Combat Helicopter from HAL. To help in the export of these platforms, a MoU is already in place between HAL and Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC).

The Philippine Air Force is flying the FA-50PH. These aircraft according to the information available in the public domain are more than a supersonic trainer aircraft built by South Korea. And the assault helicopters it has in its fleet are from Turkey.

According to diplomatic sources, the Asean member nation is actively seeking helicopters and fighter jets to modernize its Air Force. China continues its bullying tactics in the West Philippines Sea, which the Philippines consider as its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). China wants that to remain as part of the South China Sea over which it claims its full hold.

According to reports, the Asean country is keen to procure a big number of ALH from HAL to replace its ageing helicopter fleet. The negotiations between the two sides is going on and the deal is expected to be closed “soon.’’

More about ALH & LCA

This helicopter is designed and developed in India and it is a twin engine, multi-role and multi-mission new generation helicopter. It belongs to the 5.5 ton weight class and can be deployed for different military operations.

The government of that country is also looking at the Light Combat Aircraft. Malaysia, another Asean country, is set to close the deal by September 2022.

This aircraft too is designed and developed in India and is being built by HAL. A highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft, it is single engine and has the capability to operate in a high threat air environment.

Talks are going on with a couple of countries in the region to set up a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility which would be used for providing services to military and civil aircraft.

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