State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has bagged a major defence contract worth Rs 1,090 crore for supplying 14 Do-228 aircraft to the Indian Air Force.
“Apart from these aircraft, the contract includes six reserve engines, one flight simulator and associated equipments”, said T Suvarna Raju, chairman, HAL. “This also reflects the trust of defence customers on HAL and we remain committed to supporting Indian Defence Services for all their needs”, he added.
The HAL Do-228 aircraft will be manufactured by the Transport Aircraft Division of HAL at Kanpur since it has expertise in manufacturing of transport and trainer category of aircraft and has so far manufactured 125 HAL Do-228 aircraft for various defence and other customers.
This aircraft has been exported to Seychelles and Mauritius. Last year, a Dornier was also supplied to Bangalore-based Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) to be used as flying test bed (FTB) for evaluation of performance of various radars being developed by them.
According to an official release, HAL Do-228 is a highly reliable, multi-purpose, fuel-efficient, rugged, lightweight twin-turboprop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear. The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls. The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration. The general features: Maximum takeoff weight 6,400 kg, maximum payload 1,903 kg, fuel capacity 2,850 litres, maximum cruise speed 428 km/hr, service ceiling 4,299 metre, engines 2-garrett TPE 331-5-252D engines, each driving a four-blade reversible pitch, fully feathering propeller.
The company has fitted several role-specific equipment on this aircraft to meet the specialised requirement of its customers. The versatility of HAL-DO-228s is due to several in-built features.