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Thursday, February 2, 2012

HAPPY HOURS: HAL lands a fortune as Rafale arrives | Rs 20,000-25,000 crore business volume expected in next 10 years

By Anantha Krishnan M & Sharan Poovanna
Express News Service
Bangalore:  New divisions to boot, newer technologies to date and new planes to fly. The $10-plus-billion MMRCA order bagged by Dassult Rafale has given Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) a lot to cheer. HAL's Officiating Chairman P V Deshmukh told Express on Wednesday that the announcement has landed with new horizons and hopes for the 33,000-plus strong workforce.
HAL now hopes to clinch a business volume of about Rs 20,000-25,000 crore from rolling out Rafales in the next 10 years. “These are rough estimates and a clear picture will only come when we see the fine-print, including ToT details. We will have to see the specific role that will be assigned to us,” Deshmukh said. HAL will roll out 108 aircraft under license out of the 126, and 18 planes will be directly supplied by Dassault Aviation.
In the first quarter of 2016, HAL hopes to begin the deliveries to the Indian Air Force (IAF), but going by its track record, this date might undergo 'changes.' Making of Rafale in HAL means work in the form of semi/fully knocked-down kits and to the full raw material phase.  Deshmukh said the manpower would be put through additional training to taken on the tech challenges.
“We will be setting up a separate divisions with a blend of fresh and experienced engineers. Two locations have been shortlisted within the HAL estate at Bangalore for setting up the airframe and engine divisions. Conceptual design of plant layout for the aircraft and engine production units are under progress.  The accessory production will go to divisions at Hyderabad, Lucknow and Korwa,” HAL said via a written response to Express queries. HAL has already signed an MoU with Dassault Aviation and Snecma, as a preparatory step.
HAL's Director (HR) Chamola said that it would be too early for give a number of new recruits for the projects. A senior IAF official with Operations said that Rafale production will teach HAL new lessons, but the focus will still hover around quality and delivery.

MoD asks Deshmukh to continue
Hit by a first-of-its-kind succession impasse, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will continue without a permanent head for some more time. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has now asked P V Deshmukh to continue in his role as an officiating chairman for the next three months, until a new head is appointed.
“We have issued his extension orders on January 31 and he will continue holding the chairman's post in the officiating role, until a permanent decision is taken. He will continue his appointed role of Managing Director of MiG Complex,” sources said. When contacted Deshmukh confirmed the receipt of the order, but refused to go into the details.
Sources tell Express that the appointment of R K Tyagi of Pawan Hans as HAL chairman might be again embroiled in delays, this despite his papers reaching the last lap of clearances.
While Tyagi's close aides say that he will 'soon join' HAL, insiders in MoD say that there are last-minute issues yet to be sorted out. “We are hoping that in the second week of February the orders should be out, unless something unexpected happens. A close follow-up of these matters are often seen as an offence,” sources said.
The MoD on Wednesday also appointed T Suvarna Raju as HAL's Director (Design & Development). He was was the General Manager of Aircraft Division, with over 30 years of experience in the company. He is credited with conceptualizing and preparing the performance-based maintenance management support system for Hawk Mk 132 Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft and brought on board the customer and MoD authorities to support the implementation of this project for the first time. “The technology development for forming transparencies for Hawk, LCA and IJT aircraft are his major achievements,” says HAL.
Copyright@The New Indian Express


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