Bengaluru: HAL on Thursday handed over the first supersonic cruise missile BrahMos integrated Su-30 fighters to the Indian Air Force, making the aircraft a "very lethal" weapon delivery platform.
"Su-30 has become a very lethal weapon delivery platform with the successful integration of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile," HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju told reporters.
HAL has completed BrahMos integration with all the analysis being done by its internal design team, Raju said before the handing over at "Aero India 2015" air show, now on at the IAF air base at Yelahanka on the city outskirts.
Raju said HAL has provided a cost effective indigenous solution to BAPL (BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited).
"This is a proud moment for HAL.The successful completion of the first Su-30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF. We are hopeful of rolling out the second aircraft in a record time", he said at the event.
The Flight Clearance Certificate was handed over by Dr K Tamilmani, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General (Aeronautics), to Air Marshal SBP Sinha, Deputy Chief of Air Staff. The Aircraft Acceptance Certificate was handed over by A M Raja Kannu, DG, (Aeronautical Quality Assurance) to Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh.
HAL said it took up the programme as "an indigenous challenge" at its Nasik division in 2010 and overcame several difficulties due to limited design data of Su-30 MKI. It received approval in January 2011 and order for integration was obtained from BAPL in January 2014.
BrahMos missile, an India-Russia joint venture, is a two-stage supersonic cruise missile with a 290-km range for destroying high value and strategic installation.
Speaking to reporters earlier, Raju also said HAL had handed over last month the first overhauled Su-30 MKI aircraft to IAF from its newly set up Nashik facility made with an investment of over Rs 2,000 crore.
With this facility, HAL has developed capacities and capabilities to support Su-30 fleet for next 30 to 40 years, Raju said. This is only one of its kind facility in the world and has significant export prospect since nearly 10 countries operate Su-30 fleet, he added.
On new initiatives, Raju said HAL is setting up Green Field facilities for manufacture of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and Naval Multi-Role Helicopter (NMRH).
"The Karnataka government has allotted 610 acres in Tumkuru district for this purpose. Actions have been initiated for obtaining required approvals and clearances," he said.
The government has mandated HAL and National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL) for jointly taking up design, development and manufacture of 70-100 seater regional Civil Aircraft through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Raju said.
The teams have started working and approvals are being obtained from the Ministry of Defence.
He also said that development of LUH would be very crucial to HAL's plans as defence market capitalisation is based on timelines of this programme.
"We need to strive and achieve the operational clearance in line with the operational requirements of our defence services," he added.
Based on the current growth rate (approximately 10 to 12 percent), it can be predicted that the industry may have 400 to 600 helicopters by 2021. HAL is targeting this segment demand by customising ALH and by making efforts for civil certification of ALH, he added.
The fixed wing defence market will see a lot of interest by foreign OEMs as the Indian Defence and civil requirements have made it the fifth largest market in the world, Raju said.
Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA) programmes have the capability to catapult India into the league of technology leaders, he said.
"LCA, IJT and HTT-40 are the in-house technology drivers and would provide the strategic edge to our defence forces. These platforms would have significant export potential."