NEW DELHI — India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) has launched a new factory to manufacture advanced avionics for aircraft and helicopters. The factory, named Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Strategic Electronics Factory, will be inaugurated Nov. 17 by Defence Minister A.K. Antony in his home state of Kerala.
The factory will cater to the avionics needs of the Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) and the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft being developed jointly with Russia, said a Defence Ministry official.
The first phase of the project, built at a cost of more than $12 million, will manufacture special purpose computers, including mission computers and radar computers.
“Presently, the production of Airborne Special Purpose Computers like Mission computer, Display Processor, Radar Computers, Open Architect Mission computer etc. for SU-30, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), MiG-27 upgrade have been taken up at this factory,” according to a HAL statement.
In the second phase, the factory will manufacture active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
“Phase-II will undertake the manufacture of Avionics for medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) like Automatic Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, Communication and Navigation equipments besides other indigenous projects like Softnet Defined Radio, Interrogate Friend-Foe (IFF) Mark-XII etc.,” says the HAL statement.
HAL, India’s monopoly military aircraft manufacturer, is building the Russian-made SU 30 multirole aircraft under license from Russia and is slotted to manufacture the MMRCA, the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and the proposed Multi Transport Aircraft jointly with Russia. HAL also manufactures the Hawk trainer under license from BAE Systems.
HAL has an annual turnover of about $2.6 billion and has a fat order book of more than $10 billion, which is likely to swell once the MMRCA deal is signed.