Aerospace industry takes flight with Make in India

Aerospace industry takes flight with Make in India
Aerospace industry takes flight with Make in India

It is dubbed Asia's largest air show and the 2017 edition of Aero India in Bengaluru recently proved the ideal showcase for the Indian government's plans to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The highlight of this year's Aero India was a dual role combat-capable Advanced Hawk jet trainer, developed jointly by the UK′s BAE Systems and India′s public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) being formally unveiled. The smart weapons-enabled Advanced Hawk prototype, scheduled to undertake its maiden test flight in Britain in March, features an upgraded wing for greater agility and 13 per cent enhanced thrust in its Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) Rolls-Royce Adour Mk951 powerpack, according to aerospace guide 'IHS Jane's 360'. This will potentially provide the trainer a 17 per cent improved climb rate and a 20 per cent reduced turn radius, BAE Systems claimed. Equally funded by HAL and BAE Systems and executed over the past 24 months, the upgrade will qualify the Advanced Hawk to carry assorted weaponry for employment on strike co-ordinated armed reconnaissance, surveillance, air defence, and close air-support missions. The Hawks were the highlight of the Make in India focus of the grand event, which attracted an estimated 550 companies from around the world and India. "We encourage Indian companies in defence manufacturing but we would also like to encourage foreign companies. The government is working on ways to increase private player participation in defence manufacturing,” said the Indian defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, who revealed that many of the major defence projects will get going this year, including a second manufacturing line for indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. “Many of the private sector projects like SP (self-propelled) gun, C-295 (Airbus transporter aircraft) and even single and twin-engine fighter jets are in an advanced stage of decision making. We expect to get these in line during the current calender year,” he said. The Indian Air Force is looking for new fighter jets to replenish its fleet. With another indigenous aircraft carrier to be inducted in service soon, the Navy is also looking to procure over 50 fighter jets. “What the Navy wants is a different variety and it thinks that a twin-engine one would be a better version. The LCA naval version has to be successfully tested,” the minister added. He also unveiled a new Defence Innovation Fund (DIF) to encourage innovation, technological development, research and development in India. The initial contribution for the fund will come from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the fund would be open for both Indian and foreign companies. "The government will encourage manufacturing, design as well as innovation in the field of defence manufacturing. Conditions have never been better than now for defence manufacturing in India and I hope it will make way for better technical enhancement,” Parrikar said. Deal Tracker:

  • Thales and Bharat Dynamics sign MoU to explore transfer of technology (ToT) opportunity for STARStreak missile to India with the support of the UK government.
  • Telangana government to set up Skill Development Centres in the aviation sector; MoUs signed with three partners from France - namely National Skill Development Council, Airbus and Aero School Aquitaine; and with Cranfield University, UK.
  • Axiscades and Drone Volt signed an MoU to jointly address the growing market for drones in the Indian defence and aerospace sector. Both companies will evaluate opportunities for drones to address the requirements for the aerial surveillance, including disaster management and hazardous site security.
  • L&T and MBDA announced a strategic tie-up with a focus on jointly producing a new generation of anti-tank missiles for an upcoming project for armoured infantry vehicles.
  • Saab and Hindustan Aeronautics sign a contract to deliver (ToT) between South Africa and India. The contract - valued at $8.5 million - will see the transfer of technology for in-country maintenance of Saab's Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) system in India.
  • Reliance Group & Dassault Aviation announced the incorporation of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) joint venture.
  • Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd (KSSL) sign an MOU to form a new JV to build, market and manufacture specific Air Defence Systems and light weight special purpose munitions.
  • Pawan Hans and Airbus Helicopters sign MoU appointing the Indian helicopter operator as Airbus Helicopters' approved maintenance centre for the Dauphin and Ecureuil rotorcraft. The MoU has the provision to enlarge Pawan Hans' scope of maintenance services in the future to include other Airbus helicopter types.
Overview
  • One of the highlights of Aero India 2017 was the display of unmanned aerial vehicles by domestic and overseas companies
  • Israel Aerospace Industries displayed the newest export version of its long-range Heron drone, dubbed the TP-XP
  • The homegrown "Rustom”, a medium-altitude, long endurance unmanned combat air vehicle developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation proved an attraction
  • Bell brought a navalised version of its 429 helicopter to demonstrate its qualities to the Indian Navy
  • Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) offered its Boeing B767-300ER based Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) for the Indian Air Force's requirement for six new tanker aircraft
  • UK-based Rolls-Royce presented an Advanced Military Fan Concept - a full scale model of military fan for a 5th generation fighter aircraft engine
  • The Adani Group also choose a joint project for its debut at the air show. Its newly-formed entity, the Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Limited, had the Hermes 900 multi-role unmanned aerial system on display.

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