India's largest helicopter-manufacturing facility to make LUH
The greenfield helicopter production facility, spread over 615 acres, will initially produce Light Utility helicopters (LUHs).
India's largest helicopter-manufacturing facility of state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Karnataka's Tumakuru on Monday.
The greenfield helicopter production facility, spread over 615 acres, will initially produce Light Utility helicopters (LUHs). According to defence ministry officials, the facility has been planned as a one-stop solution for the country's chopper requirements.
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The HAL intends to manufacture more than 1,000 helicopters in different weight categories, with a total business of more than Rs 4 lakh crore over a period of two decades.
The facility will be augmented to produce other helicopters like the Indian multirole helicopters (IMRHs) and the Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs). It will also be used for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of LCHs, LUHs, civil advanced light helicopters (ALHs) and IMRHs in the future.
Potential exports of civil light utility helicopters would also be catered to from the Tumakuru factory, which is at a distance of around 70 kilometres from Bengaluru.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and senior ministry officials will attend the ceremony. The ministry said the facility, the foundation stone of which was laid by the prime minister in 2016, has been planned to make it a one-stop solution for all helicopter requirements of the country.
The single-engine multipurpose LUH is an indigenously designed and developed three-tonne class helicopter with unique features. The first LUH has been flight-tested and is ready for unveiling. Initially, the factory in Tumakuru will produce around 30 helicopters per year, and the capacity can be enhanced to 60 and then 90 per year in a phased manner.
"Besides generating direct and indirect employment, the Tumakuru facility will boost the development of surrounding areas through its CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities, with large-scale community-centric programmes on which the company will spend substantial amounts. All this will result in improvement in the people's lives in the region," the ministry said.
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Given its proximity to the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru, the factory will boost the aerospace-manufacturing ecosystem in the region and support skill and infrastructure development.
"With the establishment of facilities like heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control and various supporting service facilities, the factory is fully operational," the ministry said.
The factory is being equipped with state-of-the-art "Industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques" for its operations, the officials added.