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HAL helicopter not for us — Indian Navy doesn’t want PSU to be part of $3 bn chopper deal

Indian private firms have also written to the defence ministry against HAL's inclusion in the Naval Utility Helicopter initiative.

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New Delhi: The Indian Navy remains adamant against the inclusion of government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in the $3 billion (Rs 22,500 crore approximately) deal for Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH), asserting that the company’s product do not meet the force’s requirements.

This had been conveyed to the defence ministry by the Navy time and again, sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint.

“HAL’s NUH is not for us. The blade folding takes excessive time and the size of the folded bladed is bigger than what is required. In times of rescue missions or quick surveillance, the time taken on the blades is a disability,” a Navy source said.

ThePrint had on 30 May reported that the project could become the first challenge for the Narendra Modi-led government under its new ‘atma nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)’ initiative in the defence sector.

The NUH is being pursued under a strategic partnership model focused on the Indian private industry meeting manufacturing needs through tie-ups with foreign vendors.

“The entire aim of the strategic partnership is to help the creation of a defence hub in the country from the private sector. NUH programme is like the Maruti car programme which will lead to creation of a private helicopter manufacturing and servicing ecosystem,” the Navy source quoted above said.

Another source said that an assessment carried out by the Navy has found that ALHs does not meet the force’s requirements.


Also read: ‘Multiple’ India-China clashes occurred along LAC in May and June, some lasted all night


Private players also objected to HAL’s possible inclusion

The Navy has been desperate to replace its Chetak of 1960s vintage with NUH. The NUHs are to be utilised for multiple roles, including search and rescue, casualty evacuation and low-intensity maritime operations, besides torpedo drops.

The Navy had received eight responses to the expression of interest (EOI) issued in February last year, as part of its plan to purchase 111 helicopters for Rs 21,738 crore.

HAL had submitted two bids — one by itself and another through a joint venture with Russian Helicopters to produce the Kamov chopper.

It is to note that private players have also objected to the possible inclusion of HAL in the NUH programme in May last year.

Private firms that have responded to the request for information (RFI) are Mahindra Defence Systems, Tata Aerospace, Reliance, Adani, Bharat Forge and Coimbatore-based Lakshmi Machine Works.

As part of a re-evaluation in May this year, the defence ministry had asked the contenders about the export potential of the NUH programme and also raised the prospect of HAL being given a chance to be a part of it.

The private sector players had then written back to the ministry saying HAL should be kept out.

Speaking to ThePrint in May, Wing Commander (retd) Unni Pillai, who is the executive director (CTP-RW) at HAL, had said, “There are two bolts there. You remove one and it can be folded. It takes about six minutes to fold on the LUH (Light Utility Helicopter). On the ALH, we are planning to incorporate the same which we would be able to do at the same time.”

However, Navy officials have said the time taken is too long and such bolts are risky.


Also read: Submarines, AK 203 rifles — two Make in India projects Modi govt set to push on priority


 

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81 COMMENTS

    • @ Z Mahodiengmeneh:
      This is another chapter in the “Sad Story” of defence purchases in India.
      This lack of focus and sense of urgency is compounded by the lackadaisical attitude of the Dept. of Defence Production under the MoD, that is in charge of the Ordinance Factory Board (OFB). This allows OFB units to carry set their own production levels and quality standards.
      A Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report tabled in Parliament on Friday, Dec 6, 2019 said, “A significant quantity of Army’s demand for some principal ammunition items remained outstanding as on 31 March 2018, thus adversely affecting their operational preparedness.”
      The government auditor also highlighted the fact that “inadequate quality checks” by the factories and the quality assurance agencies resulted in a “significant quantum of return and rejection of empty fuzes and filled fuzes”.
      Statement of former Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa vis-à-vis HAL, has already been posted in the comments below.
      Our armed forces personnel, who put their lives on the line, are tasked with taking on the enemy with ‘one arm tied behind their back’. ☹️😩 The INSAS assault rifle is a prime example.

  1. The Indian Navy already is already using the Russian Kamov Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters. The airframe of the latter is based on the Ka-27. Their roles are Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Airborne Early Warning (AEW), respectively. Both helicopters have a coaxial main rotor with folding blades. The 5.75 m (19 feet) rotating antenna of the Ka-31’s airborne electronic warfare radar too, can be folded and stowed under the fuselage.
    (Chinese Navy too uses the Ka-27 and also the more powerful Ka-28 choppers with day/night operations capability.)
    HAL has a JV with Russian Helicopters to make the Kamov Ka-226T utility helicopter – with maximum take-off weight is 3.5 tonnes and payload of up to 1 ton – in Tumkur, around 70 kms from Bengaluru.
    Kamov designed helicopters have coaxial rotors—that is, two sets of rotors mounted one on top of the other and no tail rotor. The unique feature of this Russian origin chopper when made locally, is that it will be powered by twin French origin Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 engines made in Bangalure. In fact, around 3% of the components will be of European origin.
    Turbomeca/Safran have been making helicopter engines in Bangaluru for over 60 years. The company also has a Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) centre for the helicoter engines in Goa, which was inaugurated by the then Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar. Safran engines powers and/or equips 65% of Indian helicopters.
    The US origin Sikorsky MH-60R Romeo ASuW helicopter – currently one of the most advanced naval helicopters available, is the latest addition to the Indian Navy. With a maximum take-off weight of 10,659 kg, it is capable of operating from frigates, destroyers, corvettes and aircraft carriers. 
    The navies of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Oman, New Zealand and Australia mostly use the NATO frigate helicopter (NHF) variant of the twin-engine NH90 helicopter, which is suitable for ASuW operations. The chopper made by NHIndustries – a joint venture company, which is owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures. With a maximum take-off weight of 10,600 kg, the chopper is powered by either GE or Turbomeca engines. (As mentioned earlier, the latter is being locally.)
    A Maritime Tactical Transport variant of the chopper is also available.
    But… AgustaWestland and its sister companies under the Leonardo Group are still prohibited from doing business in India. The government recently managed to extradite alleged middleman Christian Michel from UAE. He is now in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate.

  2. The Indian Navy already is already using the Russian Kamov Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters. The airframe of the latter is based on the Ka-27. Their roles are Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Airborne Early Warning (AEW), respectively. Both helicopters have a coaxial main rotor with folding blades. The rotating antenna of the Ka-31’s airborne electronic warfare radar too, can be folded and stowed under the fuselage.
    (Chinese Navy too uses the Ka-27 and more powerful Ka-28 choppers.)
    HAL has a JV with Russian Helicopters to make the Kamov Ka-226T utility helicopter – with maximum take-off weight is 3.5 tonnes and payload of up to 1 ton – in Tumkur, around 70 kms from Bengaluru.
    Kamov designed helicopters have coaxial rotors—that is, two sets of rotors mounted one on top of the other and no tail rotor. The unique feature of this Russian origin chopper when made locally, is that it will be powered by twin French origin Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 engines made in Bangalure. In fact, around 3% of the components will be of European origin.
    Turbomeca/Safran have been making helicopter engines in Bangaluru for over 60 years. The company also has a Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) centre for the helicoter engines in Goa, which was inaugurated by the then Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar. Safran engines powers and/or equips 65% of Indian helicopters.
    The US origin Sikorsky MH-60R Romeo ASuW helicopter – currently one of the most advanced naval helicopters available, is the latest addition to the Indian Navy. With a maximum take-off weight of 10,659 kg, it is capable of operating from frigates, destroyers, corvettes and aircraft carriers. 
    The navies of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Oman, New Zealand and Australia mostly use the NATO frigate helicopter (NHF) variant of the twin-engine NH90 helicopter, which is suitable for ASuW operations. The chopper made by NHIndustries – a joint venture company, which is owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures. With a maximum take-off weight of 10,600 kg, the chopper is powered by either GE or Turbomeca engines. (As mentioned earlier, the latter is being locally.)
    A Maritime Tactical Transport variant of the chopper is also available.
    But… AgustaWestland and its sister companies under the Leonardo Group are still prohibited from doing business in India. The government recently managed to extradite alleged middleman Christian Michel from UAE. He is now in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate.

  3. The 6 helicopter manufacturer wannabes in the fray are Mahindra Defence Systems, Tata Aerospace, Reliance, Adani, Bharat Forge and Coimbatore-based Lakshmi Machine Works. The ‘atma nirbhar Bharat’ aspect will still be intact even if one of them make the Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) under the Strategic Partnership model.
    But if the ‘Reliance’ in the wannabe list is A-NIL Ambani company – Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), they need to be kept out. After all, there are 5 others to consider.
    Reliance Naval & Engineering Ltd. (RNEL), an A-NIL Ambani ADAG company with a ₹ 9,000 crore debt, now stares at bankruptcy. More importantly, the company HASN’T FULFILLED a 2011 naval order of ₹ 2,500 crore for 5 naval offshore patrol vessels (NPOVs), the delivery of which was to be completed in 5 years.
    Though RNEL failed to deliver even a single vessel in five years, in clear contravention of Chapter 6, Clause 12.1(a) of the Defence Procurement Manual 2009, which mandates the termination of a contract if “the supplier fails to honour any part of the contract including failure to deliver the contracted stores/render services in time”, the Indian Navy did not cancel the contract.
    In Dec. 2019, the govt after encashing all performance bank guarantee (PBG) given by the company in the patrol vessel contract – collectively worth ₹ 980 crore, issued a show-cause notice to RNEL asking why the order should not be cancelled forthwith.
    IDBI Bank has initiated insolvency proceedings against RNEL in the insolvency court – National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which has admitted the insolvency plea.
    ADAG company Reliance Infra abandoned the 30-year build-operate-transfer PPP Delhi Metro contract midway. The company repeated this with the 6-lane, 165 km long Yamuna Expressway connecting Greater NOIDA with Agra.
    Lenders of ADAG’s Reliance Power are considering taking the company to the insolvency court (NCLT) after it defaulted on a debt repayment of ₹ 685 crore, pertaining to Q4 2019.
    Early this year, bondholders of ADAG’s Reliance Home Finance were mulling taking the company to the NCLT for default on repayment.

  4. Vis-à-vis defence purchases, India has started evaluation of the ‘total package’ – which includes support, spares, upgrades and other costs, for the total lifecycle – NOT just initial cost of purchase.
    There are two distinct disadvantages in buying Russian military equipment:
    ➊) it is maintenance intensive and their support and spares come at a very high price; ➋) China also gets the same military hardware that we buy. So they’re aware of the strengths and weaknesses. (eg. Sukhoi Su-30)
    The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) – the nation’s autonomous auditing agency, pointed out that the IAF’s frontline fighter aircraft – the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKI, “suffered from poor serviceability of just around 55% against the prescribed norm of 75%.” 😁😁😁 That is, 45 of every 100 Su-30 MKIs with the IAF is PERMANENTLY UNAVAILABLE – however pressing the need. (In the case of the Russian-made Mikoyan MiG-29K, the situation is more dire.)
    Diversified production with private participation is the best way to escape the stranglehold of Russian defence equipment without deploying scarce public funds.

  5. Let me put forward a hypothetical but plausible scenario based on 2 facts.
    ▸ Fact #1: Department of Defence Production in its review found that the HAL-made Su-30 MKI was about ₹ 150 crore costlier than its counterpart produced by Russia’s JSC Sukhoi Company.
    ▸ Fact #2: 12 Su-30 MKIs are procured from Russia’s JSC Sukhoi Company, to replace the aircraft lost in accidents.
    ▸ Net result: Saving of ₹ 1,800 crore, BECAUSE HAL was circumvented. Had 18 Su-30s (full squadron) been purchased from Russia, the ‘saving’ would be ₹ 2,700 crore.
    Hypothesis: Let’s suppose that JSC Sukhoi Company paid ₹ 1,000 crore as bribe/commission to land the order and jacked up the price to include the bribe/commission amount. Wouldn’t the nation still be saving ₹ 800 crore?? Would collectively paying an extra ₹ 1,800 crore and pandering to HAL’s efficiencies have been the right and sensible way – which is what we’ve been doing all along??
    DON’T FORGET: In this scenario, though a significant amount of ₹ 1,000 crore has been paid as bribe/commission, the nation is still saving ₹ 800 crore.

  6. Which private company has the experience as HAL does, what’s the guarantee the private company do better than HAL,it’s all the game played by the government to handover to private sector and get some commission

    • Srinivas:
      The govt. has all along been paying lip service to private partnership in defence production, but the multi-billion dollar contracts are nominated and go to the govt. owned establishments. The need of the hour is to diversify production – so that the country benefits.
      You and a lot of others probably think that inefficiency and lack of accountability is perfectly okay.
      The Dept. of Defence Production thinks so, too. Which is why HAL has been able to get away with price gouging and setting their own pace of production for this long.

    • Srinivas:
      See my reply to Sudarshan Nityananda comment, which quotes Commander Yashodhan Marathe (Retd.), a second generation helicopter pilot and Indian Navy’s 1st Dhruv flight commander.
      Note: Dhruv is a twin-engine, multi-role, light helicopter in the 5.5-tonne weight class, which HAL claims it indigenously designed and developed. Several sources say Dhruv was designed with assistance from German aerospace manufacturer Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB).
      MMB’s Bo 105 was the first light twin-engine helicopter in the world, and the first rotorcraft that could perform aerobatic maneuvers such as inverted loops.

    • They need foreign make and earn cut money from undertable deal. Similar allegations they made against Tejas, when Tejas earned fame in International show they became silent. Here they put silly accusation against LCH HAL, it can be cured with some modifications. We are enemies of our own indigenous product and we are shouting about make in India!

      • Gopal Chandra Das:
        No “sick” product which needs remedial modification is supposed to leave the OFB (Ordinance Factory Board) or HAL factory premises, but unfortunately it happens frequently.
        In 2019, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pulled up the OFB for 18 accidents that occurred at the users’ (defence forces) end relating to six ammunitions mainly because of fuze related defects and problems.
        The CAG also highlighted slippages ammunition production and non-availability of spare fuzes, on account of which ammunition worth ₹ 403.27 crore was lying in unusable condition with the Army.
        After giving the OFB’s Ishapore Rifle Factory around 30 years to set right problems with the unreliable indigenous INSAS assault rifle, the frontline forces of the Indian Army are now issued US-made SiG Sauer assault rifles.
        You would have heard the English proverb: only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. So… those who haven’t served in the armed forces or those whose children are not serving/haven’t served in the armed forces have no business to pass judgement or pass ‘expert’ comments.

      • Gopal Chandra Das:
        No “sick” product which needs remedial modification is supposed to leave the OFB (Ordinance Factory Board) or HAL factory premises, but unfortunately it happens frequently.
        In 2019, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pulled up the OFB for 18 accidents that occurred at the users’ (defence forces) end relating to six ammunitions mainly because of fuze related defects and problems.
        The CAG also highlighted slippages ammunition production and non-availability of spare fuzes, on account of which ammunition worth ₹ 403.27 crore was lying in unusable condition with the Army.
        After giving the OFB’s Ishapore Rifle Factory around 30 years to set right problems with the unreliable indigenous INSAS assault rifle, the frontline forces of the Indian Army are now issued US-made SiG Sauer assault rifles.
        You would have heard the English proverb: only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. So… those who haven’t served in the armed forces or those whose children are not serving/haven’t served in the armed forces, have no business to pass judgement or snide comments.

      • Gopal Chandra Das:
        The way you put it, it would seem that HAL had just displayed the world’s most sophisticated military jet at the air show – one that would soon be competing with top of the line products from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Eurofighter, Dassault, etc.
        But… you’re talking about a military jet that needs to get the engine from another country – if it has to fly.
        😆😆😆

  7. Wow…what is the paid news by defence commisaion agent…if private players are capeble than why should the afraid with HUL.

    If they have best product than those so call nahi source will chose….

    • Deepti:
      According to the court of inquiry (CoI), a software glitch in the HAL upgraded Mirage 2000 is suspected to be the cause of 1 February 1, 2019 Bengaluru crash which killed both IAF pilots during the user acceptance trial of the upgraded aircraft.
      To put it straight, nobody is overawed by HAL’s “technical prowess.” Even the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), which makes the JF-17 Thunder, could be better than HAL.
      Just to jog your memory: 1) Dassault Aviation having seen the quality of HAL’s work, REFUSED point blank to be in any way responsible for any Rafale jet that HAL would produce ❲😁😁😁❳; 2) HAL manufacturing inefficiency was exposed when they conceded that vis-à-vis Dassault Aviation, they would required 2.7 times more man-hours to manufacture of the Rafale at their facility.

    • Deepti:
      It is not that the Navy is “afraid of HAL”.
      HAL’s Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) simply do not meet the Navy’s requirements.
      In the case of HAL’s NUH, the blade folding takes excessive time and the size of the folded bladed is bigger than what is required. Time taken on getting the blades to functional mode is a big minus.
      In contrast, the aerodynamic and design parameters of the Russian origin Kamov Ka-27 (which incl. folding blades) allow the helicopters to be stowed in small shipborne hangars. The landing gear provides for safe take-off and landing on rocking ship decks.

    • Deepti:
      It is not that the Navy is “afraid of HAL”.
      It is simply that HAL’s Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) DO NOT meet the Navy’s requirements.
      In the case of HAL’s NUH, the blade folding takes excessive time and the size of the folded bladed is bigger than what is required. Time taken on getting the blades to functional mode is a big minus.
      In contrast, the aerodynamic and design parameters of the Russian origin Kamov Ka-27 (which incl. folding blades) allow the helicopters to be stowed in small shipborne hangars. The landing gear provides for safe take-off and landing on rocking ship decks.

  8. I think HAL has it’s hands full with LCA and should use it’s energies and resources to better the product and deliver on time.

    Also AMCA is a big challenge.

    • Shailesh:
      You said it. The MiG-21 is on its last legs and we desperately need replacements. But… HAL is unfazed and pretty cool about it. It’s Chairman & MD R. Madhavan recently said, “We lost 26 lakh man-hours in last two months due to the Covid-19 induced disruption in the supply chain in India and abroad.”
      The implication would be – be prepared for further delays in delivery of Mk-1 LCAs, which cannot be categorised even as 4th-generation aircraft.
      It’s probably just posturing, but China has deployed 5th-generation J-20 stealth fighters at their Hotan air base – some 200 miles from Ladakh.

  9. HAL started Tejas in 1980s. Still it is not completely inducted. We lost Sukhoi 30MKI in crashes due to 2nd hand engines and quality concerns. Im not saying keep HAL out, but we need competition in defence sector to grow.

    • Harish:
      HAL needs to be kept out for 2 reasons:
      ➊) they have their plate full and it’ll enable them to focus on the tasks at hand; ➋) like you said: for the defence manufacturing sector to grow, we need competition.

  10. This is nothing but an pte planned game of centre govt. She is playing very wisely by letting private company of Adani and Ambani to oblige though they hv no experience of this field. ,This is govt plan to drop HAL to ground like BSNL. The way govt let BSNL to die by favouring jio. Similarly now they want HAL to die.

    • Rajesh:
      Engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) didn’t have any previous experience with nuclear submarines when their submarine design centre carried out detailed engineering, using the latest 3D modeling and product data management software, for the indigenous nuclear submarine program. L&T says it made the single largest contribution in the construction of the INS Arihant – the largest and heaviest vessel ever built in India – right from the stage of plate cutting to launch.
      Let alone warships, L&T didn’t have any experience building any marine vessel when they invested in building a shipyard.
      Since receiving our first MoD contract, L&T has designed, built and delivered 50 defence vessels in less than a decade – all well within time and without cost overruns.
      Tatas and Walchandnagar Industries were also significant contributors in the production of the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant.
      CAVEAT: I am in no way connected to L&T or defence supply or purchase.

    • Rajesh:
      When there are fixed quotas and reservations for both employment and promotion and also a comfortable, guaranteed sinecure, is there any incentive to perform?
      In a field like telecom, where the technology changes every few years, BSNL proved a misfit. It simply didn’t have the technically qualified decision makers to keep it abreast. BSNL eschewed 4G and paid the price. To make matters worse, they were overstaffed and lacked customer focus.
      Why try to pin the blame on the govt. now, for BSNL’s sins of omission?

  11. The IAF ordered 20 fighters with Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and another 20 with Final Operational Clearance (FOC).
    The first contract for 20 jets under IOC configuration was signed in 2006. All 20 fighters including the trainers were to be delivered by 2011.
    The process of building the trainers hasn’t yet started. So, the two-seater Tejas trainer aircraft are not expected to be delivered before 2021. Thanks to HAL, training of pilots to fly the Tejas is now restricted to simulators.
    Is it surprising that the Navy want to keep far away from HAL??

  12. HAL should definitely be excluded from bidding for LUH, they should rsther concentrate on the jobs at hand, fighter planes and their upgradation. God knows how many years they will need to upgrade the tejas and also build fifth generation fighter planes. It is better that private players now come on this field and work really fast.

  13. It is right for private players to object to HAL’s possible inclusion. After all, HAL’s
    interest is only their ‘order book’ position – not an overarching desire to serve the nation.
    HAL’s Russian Helicopters proposal to produce the Kamov chopper is really without merit. The twin-engine Kamov 226T light utility chopper will use Safran engines and WON’T be meeting the 70% indigenous content govt. requirement. Of the 200 helicopters, the first 60 will come in fly away condition from Russia and will have an indigenous content of just 3% or lower. Even under phase 4 under which the final 40 helicopters are to be made, the indigenous content will not be more than 40%.
    In any case diversified production has its own benefit.

  14. HAL CHETHAK IS VERY OLD VERSION (ONCE IT LANDED ON THE ROAD AND ONCE ON TOP OF A BUILDING). NAVY IS USED AND GOT FAILED. WHAT NEVY IS TOLD IS BASED ON THIER EXPERIENCE AND ITS FUNCTION. THEY CANNOT USE WHAT EVER HAL IS MANFACUTRED. NAVY HAS THEIR OWN PROFFESTIONAL SKILLS, ACCORDING TO THAT THEY NEED ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY HELICOPTER. EITHER NAVY SHOULD BUY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES OR HAL SHOULD PROVIDE HELICOPTER AS PER NAVY REQUIREMENT, IF NAVY SHOULD BE STRENGTHED. IT IS A QUESTION OF DEFENCE OF COUNTRY NOT FOR AIRSHOW. STILL HAL IS HAVING ALH IT CAN BE MODIFIED WITH THE SUITABLITY OF NAVY. LIKE WE ARE USING RAFFLE, MIG, SUKAI FIGHTERS ALL FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. AIRFORCE IS ALSO NOT SATISFIED WITH LCA, JAGUAR.

    • Nagesha:
      “STILL HAL IS HAVING ALH IT CAN BE MODIFIED WITH THE SUITABLITY OF NAVY.”
      According to the court of inquiry (CoI), a software glitch in the HAL upgraded Mirage 2000 is suspected to be the cause of 1 February 1, 2019 Bengaluru crash which killed both IAF pilots during the user acceptance trial of the upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft. That speaks volumes of HAL’s “technical prowess” in modifying anything. 😁😁😁
      👉🏿 DASSAULT AVIATION REFUSED POINT BLANK TO BE IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY RAFALE JET THAT HAL WOULD PRODUCE. 😁😁😁 ❲This is what forced us to buy 36 aircraft in ‘ready-to-fly’ condition.❳

  15. In every tender there is mention of technical details if hal is satisfying the technical details as per the tender then why should Hal be kept out of tender ???
    And Hal has best experience in this field and it’s employees are also experienced this is also an best point of hal of been considered
    I think that there might be some private companies lobies inside navy that may get benifits if these private companies get tender .
    Hal is PSU and it is audited by cag so navy officers cannot bribe from it and if it is private companies navy officers can do easily corruption

    • Rohit:
      HAL DOES NOT have experience making helicopters for naval use – like you say.
      HAL’s Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) has ‘strayed’ from technical specs given by the Navy and therefore that DOES NOT meet the Navy’s operational requirements.
      This is in spite of the fact that the Navy had contributed a fair amount of money towards the development of the indigenous helicopter – but then, HAL and particularly OFB, has been able to get away with such irresponsible behaviour.

    • @Rohit
      “HAL has best experience in this field and it’s employees are also experienced” 😆😆😆😆😆
      HAL took 33 years to get the LCA somewhere near flight capability. That’s probably where they got their experience from 😜
      And have you forgotten… the LCA took to the air ONLY AND ONLY BECAUSE of a foreign engine.
      The February 1, 2019 crash at the HAL airport, Bengaluru, during the user acceptance trial of an HAL upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft, also attests to their “experience” and “technical competence”. They also have the blood the two IAF pilots killed in the crash on their hands.

  16. If I am putting my life on the line and I want to win, I don’t want to use something that is short of victory. Why should govt. sectors not the best when we expect our armed forces to be the best. Private sector is the need of the hour.

    • Bharat Bhakt:
      Votaries of HAL and the OFBs think that the armed forces should fight with whatever is provided to them – though it is not even on par with what the enemy has. This was Nehru’s line of thinking and everyone would know the result of the 1962 confrontation with China in roughly the same area.
      If HAL’s helicopter does not meet the Navy’s requirements (blade folding takes excessive time and the size of the folded bladed is bigger than what is required), they have every right to reject it.

  17. The best defence against corruption is a high index of suspicion. Do not treat the Indian Navy as a holy cow. Winston Churchill said ” war is too serious a matter to be left to the generals”. Here, defence procurements is too serious a matter to be left to the admirals.

    • Kulwant Raj:
      In short, what you’re saying is: armchair patriots, keyboard warriors and South Block babus should make all the decisions about weapons and military equipment purchases. The function of the armed forces is to fight with whatever is given to them.
      In 1814 French writer François-René de Chateaubriand used the expression “cannon fodder” to describe them.

  18. Those company has no experience in making NUH keep them aside. Give a chance to hal.who have lots of experience

    • Mitali Das:
      “The Indian Air Force’s efforts to support the state-owned aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has affected its fighting capabilities”, former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa said on Feb. 1, 2019, while addressing the 10th ‘Jumbo’ Majumdar International Conference at the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi.
      HAL has lots of experience… delaying things. He added that even LCA production commitment (has been delayed) by over six years. Even the first 20 LCA Mk-Is from the initial order haven’t been completely delivered. This incl. trainer aircraft. Not a single one has been delivered.

    • @Mitali Das:
      ⁍ “THOSE COMPANY HAS NO EXPERIENCE IN MAKING NUH KEEP THEM ASIDE.”
      Going just by your argument, HAL should kept away. They have no real experience making a naval helicopter. They just made an helicopter and called it NUH. Even Maruti Suzuki can make something and claim it is a ‘Naval Utility Helicopter’. (Of course, it won’t meet the Indian Navy’s operational requirement and they can ignore it, but Navy might not be able to object to Maruti Suzuki calling it ‘Naval Utility Helicopter’.
      In any case, it is not the ‘brains’ of the HAL Chairman and management that is behind any of their products. In the case of helicopters under production the Cheetah and Chetak, the former combines an Aérospatiale Alouette II airframe with Alouette III components and powerplant, while the latter is the same French Alouette III built under licence by HAL in India. HAL helicopters are now powered by the French Turbomeca engine made in Bangaluru. So, now you know how ‘Indian” HAL made Cheetah and Chetak helicopters are.
      HAL contribution has been to provided a shed and also the overpaid workers to put it all together.
      HAL claims it indigenously designed and developed the Dhruv helicopter. Sources say Dhruv was designed with assistance from German aerospace manufacturer Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB), which HAL hasn’t acknowledged. (HAL’s LCH is a derivative of the Dhruv.)
      ⁍ “GIVE A CHANCE TO HAL.WHO HAVE LOTS OF EXPERIENCE”
      HAL has ONLY lots of “screwdriver & spanner” experience. This half the workforce of automobile companies like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, M&M, etc. would also have.
      Lockheed Martin’s MH-60R multi-role naval helicopter which the Navy is inducting mainly for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), was originally a Sikorsky.
      The company established by Kiev-born Russian aviator Igor Sikorsky in 1923, was among the first to manufacture helicopters for civilian and military use. Lockheed Martin purchased the company in November 2015. So… who has “lots of experience” – HAL or Sikorsky?? 😜
      And more importantly, EVERY HAL HELICOPTER IS POWERED BY THE FRENCH TURBOMECA ENGINE, now owned by Safran – that also makes the Rafale’s engines.
      You may not be aware or simply chosen to ignore the fact that “the NUH is being pursued under a STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP model focused on the Indian private industry meeting manufacturing needs THROUGH TIE-UPS WITH FOREIGN VENDORS.”
      HAL was making French state-owned aerospace manufacturer Aérospatiale’s
      Alouette III under licence. So, HAL can’t claim more experience than them. Aérospatiale is now a part of multinational European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) that makes helicopters under Eurocopter brand.
      ❲☞ Aérospatiale is the company behind the Concorde, the first flight of which was in 1969. That’s their pedigree.❳
      Sikorsky, now owned by Lockheed Martin was among the rotary-wing aircraft pioneers and have now been making helicopters for about a century.
      ❲☞ HAL came into existence only on 1st October 1964.❳
      ⁍ AN AIRCRAFT DOESN’T FLY ON THE SAME PRINCIPLE AS A KITE (पतंग). WHETHER ROTARY-WING OR FIXED-WING, AN AIRCRAFT NEEDS AN ENGINE TO POWER ITS FLIGHT. 😜 HAL doesn’t have their own engine. They DEPEND on French engines to power their helicopters. An American General Electric engine powers the LCA. So… can a company that depends on foreign engines to power their aircraft be considered Indian??

  19. Of course, that understandable. After all, it’s a $3 billion (approx. ₹23K) deal.
    No one would be surprised if the Indian Navy ONLY wants helicopters offered by Adani, to replace its fleet of Cheetah/Chetak helicopters.

  20. An assessment carried out by the Navy has found that “HAL’s ALHs do not meet the force’s requirements. The blade folding takes excessive time and the size of the folded bladed is bigger than what is required.”
    But… the Indian Navy is had no problem bending backwards to accommodate A-NIL Ambani’s Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (RNEL) – formerly Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited / Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited) (PDOECL). The company, which with a ₹ 9,000 crore debt, now stares at bankruptcy. It is yet to fulfill any naval order.
    In September 2018, a well known Indian Defence analyst had pointed out that projects worth at least ₹630 billion had ground to a standstill as the defence ministry and the government had yet to take a call on whether Reliance Naval was to be excluded from future contracts.
    It’s unlikely that there’ll be a better example of crony capitalism??

  21. 👉🏿 REQUIREMENT: ➊) Modification of Su-30 MKI, with a take-off weight of 38,800 kgs, to carry the 8.4 m/28 ft, 2,500 kg BrahMos supersonic cruise missile; ➋) Make up deficit in the Su-30 MKI squadron by inducting new aircraft to replace those lost in accidents ◻︎

    👉🏿 HAL OFFER: To build one or two squadrons of specially modified Su-30 MKIs capable of carrying the BrahMos cruise missile ◻︎

    👉🏿 MODI GOVT. DECISION: ➊) HAL initially to modify 6 Su-30 MKIs to carry BrahMos air launched cruise missiles (ALCM) Aircraft to be based at the Thanjavur Air Force Station, TN; ➋) 12 Su-30 MKIs to be procured from Russian Sukhoi, to replace the aircraft lost in accidents – though HAL’s Nashik facility which makes the Su-30 MKIs will run out of orders by next year ◻︎

    👉🏿 PROBABLE REASONS: ➊) Production time frame. HAL takes their own sweet time and production slippages are endemic; ➋) IAF is looking to upgrade its mainstay Su-30 MKI fighter fleet to the ‘Super Sukhoi’ standards. Maybe these 12 aircraft will arrive in India, upgraded with new radar, enhanced beyond visual range capability, new electronic warfare suite, and maybe even engine; ➌) Department of Defence Production in its review found that the HAL-made Su-30 MKI was about ₹ 150 crore costlier than its counterpart produced by Russia’s JSC Sukhoi Company. The Russian made Su-30 cost just ₹ 269.77 crore, whereas the same jet produced under Russian license in India by HAL, was priced at ₹ 417.69 crore.

    👉🏿 CONCLUSION:
    ➊) Evidently, PM doesn’t share the confidence that many others have vis-a-vis HAL; ➋) Direct saving of ₹ 1,800 crore

  22. Rejection of PSUs in participation, has to be studied deep, is there any vested interest by the top officials, to not allow PSUs to participate in such deals , if we our self start rejecting our own techs, who we expect to buy our indigenous products , this covid-19 pandemic has tought us a lesson, no big private hospitals has come to rescue the nation ,except our own govt healthcare facilities & institutes , same will happen in war like crisis if we completely rely on private players , our PSUs should be preserved to grow and compete equally to other private players, our nation has reached today at this level beacuse of PSUs in every different sectors .fair chance should be given to HAL.

    • Nitin Mugli:
      Now, the Chinese are only at the LAC. While the “rejection of PSUs” is being studied in depth, the Chinese might reach Delhi.
      Would the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa have said, “The Indian Air Force’s efforts to support the state-owned aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has affected its fighting capabilities”, would sufficient reason??
      This would hold good for the Navy too.

    • Nitin Mugli:
      More than a “fair chance” has be given to HAL.
      HAL still has a few more LCA to deliver from the 2006 order for 20 Mk-1 LCAs. Then there is the 2011 repeat order for 20 more Mk-1 LCAs. And worse, not a single trainer aircraft has been delivered. 😁😁😁 Wouldn’t this constitute more than a “fair chance”??
      The Mk-1 LCAs CANNOT be categorised even as 4th-generation aircraft. It’s probably just posturing, but China has deployed 5th-generation J-20 stealth fighters at their Hotan air base – some 200 miles from Ladakh.

  23. India needs to develop next generation advanced helicopters (incl. in foreign collaboration), UAVs (for surveillance & attack), multiplying bombs, laser attacks, long range missiles. The country needs to be strong enough to fight two front conventional as well as high tech wars and do wonders, for short term as well as long term wars. The time factor and high tech preparation for all seasons are important.

  24. Why should any particularly with decades of experience in making aircrafts because it is a PSU be asked to be left out by the private sector that have zero experience. If the private can go for tie ups why can’t a PSU. Rafale and so many others have. That with Rafale was broken by the new PM who alone knows why for far lesser numbers at astronomically higher costs. For ATMANIRBHAR why kill a company that has for decades played that role. But by all means do what you need to make it better, more efficient, prized and sought after.

    • Jayanta Sircar:
      HAL got manufacturing opportunities NOT because of its technical capability or production prowess. It is a simply a screwdriver/spanner specialist – putting together bits and pieces of aircraft received from Russia. That is what HAL has decades of experience in.
      There is a huge shortfall of fixed wing military jets and rotary wing aircraft in the country. ATMANIRBHAR is an attempt to broadbase military aircraft production and address this.
      In any case, HAL’s has more orders than it can handle and their production capacity of 10 units or thereabouts annually is simply insufficient to meet user demand.
      It is not only the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters that need to be replaced. The IAF’s large fleet of Russian origin Mi-8/17 helicopters that are currently the backbone of India’s transport chopper fleet, will also need to be replaced soon. HAL is readying the twin-engine Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) –  a 12 ton class chopper for this. Luckily, they don’t have to worry about the engine, because Safran has been making helicopter engines in Bangaluru for over 60 years. Even the twin-engine Russian origin Kamov Ka-226T helicopter to be made in India will be powered by Safran helicopter engines.
      And… about “killing the company”. Are you implying that as soon as the spoon feeding stops, HAL will start its downward slide – like HMT. 😜

  25. Please gentlemen, Navy is not a ‘person’ which has a “hidden agenda”. It is a vibrant organisation consisting of hundreds of specialists who know their jobs best and it is their combined opinion that forms the ‘view’ of the Navy. As an ex-defence officer and having dealt with HAL for some years, I can understand the apprehensions that Navy has in possible inclusion of HAL at this late stage. Sufficient to say that NUH is a very crucial, much delayed project of the Navy and if HAL is included now, it will further leave the Navy’s critical war-fighting capabilities much dented for many years to come.

  26. It’s shameful to seek always to buy foreign items…HAL can adjust and produce what ever specifications any forces want…but it certainly cannot keep changing once the specifications are fixed…these antinational defence brokers agents dalals will never allow HAL to produce any jets copters these fellows are antinational..

    • @ V. Cherian:
      “It’s shameful to seek always to buy foreign items” 😆😆😆😆😆
      Really?? Indians haven’t considered it shameful to buy Chinese smartphones – even after the Galwan valley incident.
      Both the OnePlus 8 Pro (12GB RAM, 256GB – ₹ 59,999 onwards • 8GB RAM, 128GB – ₹ 54,999 onwards) and OnePlus Nord (12GB RAM, 256GB – ₹ 29,999 onwards • 8GB RAM, 128GB – ₹ 27,999 onwards) have sold very well.
      Chinese smartphone manufacturer BBK Electronics launched its Realme brand in 2018 in India. The Realme X3 recently hit the market. The base 8GB RAM retails from ₹ 25,999 onwards. The top end Realme X3 SuperZoom
      12GB RAM/256GB model retails from ₹ 32,999 onwards.
      That’s the confidence that Chinese smartphone sellers have in Indian consumers – Covid-19 and unprovoked PLA aggression, not withstanding.
      Haier, TCL, Lenovo, Volvo and MG (SIAC Motors) are other Chinese owned brands that sell their products in the Indian market.
      Indians can’t do without PUBG Mobile and TikTok.
      According to official data released in February, India’s trade with China declined from US$ 89.71 billion in 2017-18 to US$ 87.07 billion in 2018-19. That is: India’s trade deficit with China was US$ 53.57 in 2018-19.
      So, how is it that you only find buying arms from abroad shameful?? In any case, if we had not used the French Mirage 2000 jets, Israeli Litening target designator device and
      US-supplied Paveway laser-guided bombs on June 24, 1999 to successfully take out entrenched Pakistani Army structures on top of Tiger Hill (17,410 feet), the war in Kargil might not have ended in 3 months. On July 4, 1999, after recapturing the hill from Pakistan, soldiers from the Indian Army’s 18 Grenadiers, 2 Naga, and 8 Sikh hoisted the tricolor on Tiger Hill.
      IN A WAR, IT IS THE OUTCOME THAT IS IMPORTANT, not the country of origin of the weapons used to accomplish it.
      Hope you get that.

    • Varghese Cherian:
      In a country where almost the entire defence equipment and ammunition production is in the hands of ‘anti-national’ OFB units – that are both irresponsible and unaccountable, purchase of weapons from other friendly countries is inevitable – unless we’re looking for a 1962 repeat everytime.

  27. I think we should develop healthy balance of private and public participation in defence manufacturing.
    Hal has got enough in its plate to work on. Rather it has a lot to do when it comes to meeting user parameters

  28. Why not Hal change the wing mechanism and compete? Insisting a bolt be removed and fitted back sounds vintage. Timing is critical in military operation. HAL is another item showcasing how pathetic PSU operate. There may be a few exceptions. Private players should step in where quality and merit shall play an important role.

  29. This is the problem.
    Have every one to compete.
    If HAL is not upto the mark, don’t accept
    Not giving a chance to participate is blasphemous.

  30. They want to kill their own child,adopt another child,great going INDIA
    Atmanirbhar or aatmanirbhar
    This is first signal towards getting rid off or selling this navratna defence manufacturing unit.
    🚁🚁😪

    • Prem:
      You’re calling HAL a ‘navratna’?? Even a single ‘ratna’ is not justified.
      The Saab Gripen E is far superior to the Tejas LCA Mk-1 that HAL is producing.
      Both derives the power from same GE 414 engine and have the same weight, but the range of the Gripen at 1300 km is far higher, compared to the around 500 km of the LCA. This is probably because the Gripen is more aerodynamic. The LCA has a more dated design.
      Gripen has an external load capacity of 1600 kg more than Tejas.
      In electronic warfare capabilities, the Selex AESA with Gallium Arsenide transponders and advanced ECM make it superior to the LCA Mk-1.
      The Gripen has a lower top speed of Mach 1.1 compared to the Tejas’ 1.4. On almost every other parameter, the Tejas Mk-1 (IOC) is inferior to the Gripen, but HAL has priced the LCA Mk-1 (IOC) higher than the Gripen C.
      According to respected international defense publishing group IHS Jane’s, the operational cost of the Swedish Saab Gripen aircraft is the lowest among a flightline of modern fighters in terms of cost per flight hour (CPFH).
      IHS Jane’s Aerospace and Defense Consulting, compared the operational costs of the Saab Gripen, Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.
      The govt. paying top dollar for the Tejas LCA is the equivalent of a rich, indulgent father loosening the purse strings for his offspring.

  31. We call it hindustan aram lodge. Indian navy is absolutely right.we can not afford inferior quality after unlimited delay.
    We want pagar but HAL will delay so much that now pager is outdated and we want cell phone !
    Unlimited delay ,high cost,outdated technology!

    Navy is right .We want best technology at fastest rate.

  32. Let HAL sell 50% stake to private manufacturers, like in Maruti Suzuki deal. let govt be a minority stake holder with interest of specific products for defence needs and hand holding HAL. However, buisness partners should develop technology and
    export business

  33. About time the Babus running HAL realise, that you need to be competitive and pre emptive in designing flying machines, rather than just acting as Mechanics who build machines from Russian kits. These people have been pampered a lot and need to become competitive with other Indian firms. Simply resting on past achievements is not the way to survive

  34. It looks like that the Navy and private parties want to keep HAL out of the picture. There seems to be some hidden agenda. IAll bids should be considered against technical and Make in india criteria. By quoting a bolt problem to keep HAL bid out seems odd and a lame excuse. And why should private parties object?
    This may bring in questions on commission like that indulged by foreign vendors., which HAL may not practise.

    • Srinivasan:
      The govt. has all along been paying lip service to private partnership in defence production, but the multi-billion dollar contracts are nominated and go to the govt. owned establishments. The need of the hour is to diversify production – so that the country benefits.
      HAL has been getting away with price gouging and setting their own pace of production for far too long.

    • Maybe HAL can sell these choopers to armies with lower security threat and needs. Why should my tax money go to someone who clearly has never created anything that no one in the world wants to buy. BTW even Tejas comes with so many foreign vendor parts.

  35. Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have been serving the nation since 1950s. Why should any company which shows interest and has the capability to manufacture the requirements of the Indian Navy be left out? If HAL does not meet the technical criteria in a particular Tender then Navy can reject its offer/bid. Probability of HAL failing/succeeding in manufacturing the requirements of the Indian Navy are same as that of any other Private manufacturers who have never manufactured a Navy Utility Helicopter. Indian Navy should try its best get more manufacturers to submit their bid to ensure there is sufficient competition among the bidders. PSUs are not a liability to the Nation. manufacturing facilities of any Maharatna PSU is one of the best in India. Delay in completion of orders and lack of new product development is not because PSUs are not capable but because successive governments have not looked at PSUs beyond dividends and employment generation machines .

    • Anurag Thakur:
      “Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have been serving the nation since 1950s.” 😁😁😁 PSUs have been serving their own selfish interest and that of ruling party politicians.
      A prime example is the Ordinance Factory Board (OFB), which has been severely castigated by the Comptroller and Auditor General ( CAG) of India.
      Former Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa slammed HAL for repeated delays and problems in the domestic manufacture of military aircraft. The question he asked on 31 January 2019 was, “We can make concessions to HAL, but will enemy make any concession for us?” VERY PERTINENT NOW.

  36. Not sure with HALs LUH , But best way is Let HAL be subsidary for helicopter and allied unit for collaboration to include private players and foreign technology partner with equal participation , The idea should be that by another 5-8 years , we should have 2 players in industry for healthy competitive environment with HAL as a semigovernment company

    • Mahesh K:
      Yes, we should have 2 players in industry for healthy competition. Diversified production has its own benefits.
      In any case, HAL has a 140 Kamov 226T helicopter order to fulfill. The first 60 helicopters of the total 200 will come in fly away condition from Russia, so HAL won’t really have anything to do there.
      HAL also has a few more LCA to deliver from the 2006 order for 20 Mk-1 LCAs. Then there is the 2011 repeat order for 20 more Mk-1 LCAs. And worse, not a single trainer aircraft has been delivered.
      HAL should forget the NUL and focus on the orders in hand.

  37. Indian Navy seems to be the most courageous of the three services. Wisely decline HAL. Apart from bullets, from Indian Ordinance, Chinese and Pakistanis, they have to live in fear of the wind and the waves:

    • SuchindranathAiyerS:
      Not only HAL, even Putin wants the Russian Kamov helicopter to be in the fray. His argument is that the Kamov with its coaxial rotors is most suited for the high seas operations.
      If that is so, wouldn’t it mean that the US$ 2.6 billion purchase of 24 Sikorsky MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin for anti-surface/anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue missions is money down the drain?
      🤔😜

  38. It is not right to say that Indian Navy is adamant on non inclusion of N-LUH. IN is looking for suitable helicopter for its frigates, corvettes and destroyers for almost two decades. These helicopters will do role of reconnaissance, search and rescue mission, transport and anti submarine role. Most of IN ships are small and operate on high seas. We need small helicopters to fit on ships with auto fold mechanism for blades. HAL NLUH does not have these features. HAL is adamant on participating in tender and unnecessarily delaying procurement.

    • Niteen:
      Unfortunately, HAL has a dog in the manger attitude. They want to corner all orders and then delay delivery.
      HAL was always behind schedule. Now Chairman & MD R. Madhavan says, “We lost 26 lakh man-hours in last two months due to the Covid-19 induced disruption in the supply chain in India and abroad.”
      HAL has a 140 Kamov 226T helicopter order to fulfill. They have not yet commenced production.
      HAL also has a few more LCA to deliver from the 2006 order for 20 Mk-1 LCAs. And worse, not a single trainer aircraft has been delivered. At this rate, by the time they get to production of the 4th-gen Mk-1A aircraft by the end of the decade, China will have deployed 6th-gen aircraft.

  39. If HAL’s LUH does not meet technical criteria, let them submit their bid and the user can reject it giving reasons. HAL need not be given undue priority nor should it be barred from submitting a bid. No undue concessions need to be given to HAL in bidding. We can note that even if a private player wins the bid it does not go against self reliance , since manufacture under licence will take place in India. Let the best bid win.

    • Sudarshan Nityananda:
      Commander Yashodhan Marathe (Retd.), a second generation helicopter pilot and Indian Navy’s 1st Dhruv flight commander says:
      Blade folding is a major sticking point.
      Based on the shipborne requirements, the Navy, right from the very start, had specified to HAL the requirement of a 3.5 m blade-folded width.
      This is because, after the helicopter lands on a ship, it is stowed in the hangar after folding the blades. At sea the requirement is also for a quick and easy way of folding the blades. 
      The Navy had contributed a fair amount of money towards the development of the indigenous helicopter, yet it is QUITE CLEAR THAT THE BLADE FOLDING REQUIREMENT WAS NOT GIVEN ITS IMPORTANCE even during basic design at HAL.
      The Navy, as usual, was forced to accept the initial lot of helicopters under concession.
      HAL’s suggestion of modifying the hangar is the equivalent of making the hand fit the glove.
      Retrofitting the HAL helicopter for segmented blade folding will not only increase weight, but would also involve hundreds of hours of testing. Given the efficacy of the (supposedly) rigorous testing that HAL does, I’m not sure whether to trust the results flight tests that HAL provides.
      Hopefully, it is clear why the Indian Navy asserts that the company’s product do not meet the force’s requirements.
      Inclusion of government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in the $3 billion (approx. ₹ 23K crore) deal for Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) will only unnecessarily be wasting of Navy personnel.

    • Sudarshan Nityananda:
      Commander Yashodhan Marathe (Retd.), a second generation helicopter pilot and Indian Navy’s 1st Dhruv flight commander has this to say about HAL’s NUH:
      Blade folding is a major sticking point.
      Based on the shipborne requirements, the Navy, right from the very start, had specified to HAL the requirement of a 3.5 m blade-folded width.
      This is because, after the helicopter lands on a ship, it is stowed in the hangar after folding the blades. At sea the requirement is also for a quick and easy way of folding the blades. 
      The Navy had contributed a fair amount of money towards the development of the indigenous helicopter, yet it is QUITE CLEAR THAT THE BLADE FOLDING REQUIREMENT WAS NOT GIVEN ITS IMPORTANCE even during basic design at HAL.
      The Navy, as usual, was forced to accept the initial lot of helicopters under concession.
      HAL’s suggestion of modifying the hangar is the equivalent of making the hand fit the glove.
      Retrofitting the HAL helicopter for segmented blade folding will not only increase weight, but would also involve hundreds of hours of testing. Given the efficacy of the (supposedly) rigorous testing that HAL does, I’m not sure whether to trust the results flight tests that HAL provides.
      Hopefully, it is clear why the Indian Navy asserts that the company’s product do not meet the force’s requirements.
      Inclusion of government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in the $3 billion (approx. ₹ 23K crore) deal for Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH), will only unnecessarily be wasting the time of Navy personnel.

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