India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) achieved sales of Rs 13,061 crore ($2.9 billion) for the fiscal year 2010-11 — a 14% increase over the previous year.
The government-owned company’s profit before taxes stood at Rs 2,718 crore ($604 million), while its order book jumped by Rs 8,524 crore ($1.9 billion).
According to T. Sudhakar Rao, HAL’s executive HR director, one major highlight for the company during the year was the initial operational clearance (IOC) for the Dhruv Mk. III helicopter and Shakti engine utility variant. “This was a major achievement, as Dhruv [is] our flagship product,” Rao says. The Dhruv had its first flight in May.
During the 2011 Aero India show, HAL also unveiled the LCH technology demonstrator (TD-2) with a digital camouflage paint scheme — a first for any Indian Air Force (IAF) asset. TD-2 is expected to join the flight line soon.
HAL also rolled out the first Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter manufactured out of raw material from its Nasik plant during the financial year. “The first raw material phase engine for the Su-30MKI successfully completed the tests at our Koraput facility,” Rao says.
Another significant development for HAL came in the form of the IOC for the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) on Jan. 10, 2011. HAL and the Aeronautical Development Agency are currently completing various tests to fill the gaps left after the certification process, which are not considered flight-critical.
The naval variant of LCA was rolled out in July 2010 and it is undergoing ground tests ahead of its first flight. HAL also finalized the design for the Light Utility Helicopter, and the detailed design phase has commenced. “The year also saw preliminary design of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and a [joint venture] company for the co-development of Multi-role Transport Aircraft — both with [the] Russians,” Rao says.
The next financial year (2011-12) will see many changes at HAL, with many top-ranking officials retiring (Aerospace DAILY, March 7). It remains to be seen whether India’s defense ministry will take steps to ensure the retirements don’t affect ongoing projects.