In the first such initiative, state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is ready to transfer the technology of its advanced light helicopter Dhruv to a domestic defence manufacturer for the commercial production of the chopper, official sources said.
HAL is in the process of identifying the private defence major with whom it will share the technology for the production of the twin-engine combat helicopter in India.
The private entity will have the option of selling the choppers or through HAL.
HAL will for the first time share technology with a private entity for the mass production of a military platform. It was not immediately known how much it would charge for the technology transfer.
The decision to go ahead with this was in line with the government’s initiative to promote the domestic defence industry, officials said.
The indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV) is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-new generation helicopter in the 5.5-tonne weight class.
By March 2017, HAL had produced 228 Helicopters, including 216 for the Indian Armed Forces.
At present, it is executing an order for another 159 choppers for the Army and the Air Force.
Dhruv has also been supplied to Nepal, Mauritius and the Maldives.
The sources said a number of defence manufacturers have shown an interest in acquiring the technology for the Dhruv helicopter.
In September, HAL had signed a Rs 6,100-crore contract for the supply of 41 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) to the Indian Army while in March, the state-run entity inked a contract for supplying 32 ALH to the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.
The officials said HAL had enhanced its production facilities to speed up the manufacturing of helicopters and the Tejas light combat aircraft. They said HAL had finalised a plan to manufacture nearly 1,000 military helicopters and over 100 planes, in tune with the government’s focus on speeding up defence indigenisation.
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