NEW DELHI — India and Russia have signed a contract to begin preliminary work on the joint development of a Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA). The Preliminary Design Phase contract was signed here Oct. 12 between India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), its Russian partner United Aircraft Corp. — Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA), and their joint venture, Multirole Transport Aircraft.
An Indian Defence Ministry release quoted R.K. Tyagi, chairman of HAL, saying, “With this, HAL and UAC-TA will start the preliminary design work immediately at Moscow. HAL’s design team consists of 30 designers who will be positioned at UAC-TA.”
The $600 million MTA project will operate on a 50:50 financing arrangement.
The contract is a follow up to an intergovernmental agreement signed Nov. 12, 2007, to design, develop and produce a multirole transport aircraft in the 15-20-ton class. It is intended to meet the requirements of 100 aircraft for the Russian Air Force, 45 for the Indian Air Force and 60 for other countries. India eventually will need 205 such aircraft.
The Preliminary Design Phase will set work-share arrangements and should be completed in 10 months. A Detail Design Phase contract will then follow.
The aircraft will be designed for cargo or troop transportation and airdropping of supplies.
HAL will carry out its share of the design and development at the Aircraft R&D Centre at Bangalore, while its Transport Aircraft Division at Kanpur will manufacture the prototypes and conduct subsequent serial production, the release said.