Indigenous Defence Production


How Many Tejas can HAL produce per Annum? Here the highlights based on the media interviews of Chairman, CEO of HAL:

1. Since January 2015, HAL has delivered just eight Tejas aircraft to the Air Force, perhaps nine-eleven by March 31, 2018.

2. As reported, an additional investment of Rs 1,231 crore (US$192 million) was sanctioned for enhancing capacity,

3. The Tejas line is projected to build 10 fighters in 2018-19; it may be more depending on supply speed of the vendors and that many may be additional production and

4. 16 Tejas Mark 1As each year from 2019-20 onwards.

5. Production of Tejas can be increased to 24 aircraft or more per year by 2021. While two production lines are already set up, the third one has been approved.

6. After completing 123 numbers of Mark IA, the line is expected to build the Tejas Mark II fighter, an advanced variant of the Tejas with a more powerful General Electric F-414 engine and upgraded avionics.

7. HAL has created five “Tier-1” suppliers that each builds a part of the Tejas.

8. The front fuselage is supplied by Dynamatic Technologies, Bengaluru.

9. The centre fuselage by VEM Technologies, Hyderabad.

10. The rear fuselage is to be provided by Alpha Tocol, Bengaluru.

11. And finally the wings are to be supplied by Larsen & Toubro, Coimbatore.

12. The tail fin and rudder by National Aerospace Laboratory and Tata Advanced Materials.

13.Some 80 private firms are part of the outsourcing. Each of the above Tier-1 suppliers sources components and sub-assemblies from lower-order Tier-2 and Tier-3 suppliers, creating an aerospace industry around the Tejas.

14.HAL is planning to eventually outsource 69 per cent of the production of Tejas structural modules, with just 31 per cent of the work done in-house – consisting mainly of assembly and equipping work.

It is also in news that MK-II and AMCA, the fifth generation fighter are well on path line of development for prototype test flights.


There are clearly people in the defence ministry and defence forces who are getting prompted by the famous weapon manufacturing foreign lobby to denounce the performance of Tejas fighter with their statesments on comparative items that suit them. All imports have many attractions. Leave beside the under table gratification or through some safer personal accounts, consider the amount of perks such as the number of persons visiting the importing country and the manufacturing facility or related establishments with foreign living allowances plus the facilitations and gifts by the guest.


FICV- Why Wait for Foreign Partners?

The Indian Army’s infantry combat vehicles is using the Russian-designed BMP (‘Sarath’ BMP-II) series which are being made by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) since its induction in 1980 with approximately, 1900 ICVs BMP-2/2K of them in service at present. With much of building, operating and mentaining happening through OFB, why couldn’t OFB itself manufacture a 21st century FICV incorporating the latest technologies from collaborative effort of Indian vendors of different majo systems? It is certainly not a rocket science with huge engineering and electronics talent in design and developing including AI, 3D printers etc from BEL and other IT companies. Companies in private sector such as Tata Motors, Mahindra, and L&T can certainly design, develop, manufacture even the globally best FICVs. Indian Army can order for manufacturing the 5-10 numbers from each of them with DRDO as controlling agency for the cutting edge technologies and army requirements. After all field tests, if accepted, the final order can go to the two best or depending on the total requirements equally to all the three. Why should the defence ministry and India Army go on waiting and searching for the best foreign partners and in the process annoying these big powers who can’t be satisfied with small gain from the deal.Let the country stop depending on Russia, US and Israel for everything, when our own people can do it. Sometimes I wonder if the government really intends to finish its dependence on import and its all related troubles such as spare parts and servicing.


”The FICV will be a tracked, lightly armoured, off-road vehicle that can zoom over sand dunes or across a river. Operated by a three-man crew — a commander, a driver and a gunner — it will also carry seven fully equipped infantrymen into battle protecting them while they are aboard from bullets and shrapnel. The FICV’s strike power — an anti-tank missile; a rapid-fire cannon; a 7.62 mm machine gun; and a grenade launcher — will enable it to destroy enemy tanks, ICVs, missile carriers, attack helicopters and infantry.It will transport infantry soldiers into the battlefield behind tanks.The final weight will have be less than 20-25 tons for quick transportation to the critical locations.”


Who can get defence production and vendor cos. running three shifts -HAL, BEL, L&T, Cochin Shipyard, Tata, Bharat Forge , Dynamatic, exporting and cutting 50% of imports? Should u not come out of the jungles of files, notes, procedures, rules….Make India proud. Make in In for who pay. Use our talents caged in 1000 plus Foreign Research and development centres in India. Invite , respect best NRIs in the areas.


As reported, ‘American aerospace giant Boeing announced its tie-up with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Mahindra Defence Systems to manufacture F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets in India.’ The joint venture will have a dedicated new manufacturing plant (Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India; T Suvarna Raju, CMD, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd; and SP Shukla, Group President, Aerospace and Defence, Mahindra Group, participated in MoU signing ceremony.) Boeing wishes to cash on Indian Air Force immediate requirements of 110 fighters jets worth a $15-billion deal. And the Indian Navy has also asked for sanction to purchase 57 multi-role carrier borne fighters (MRCBF) for around $12 billion. HAL is well in the business with considerable amount of competency to build warplanes with Tejas now in serial production with three production lines. It has a good aircraft design centre too with DRDO as mentor. Mahindra Aerospace and Defence has experience of smaller civil planes and aero components’ export. The expertise of both the Indian companies will facilitate to drastically bring down the cost of each F/A-18. It is expected to make the preference to tilt towards Boeing offer against that of the Russians readying to offer the advanced MiG-35 which is at a lower cost compared to others. As such, Super Hornet is claimed as the most advanced and least expensive aircraft per flight hour of its kind. The F/A-1.8 Super Hornet will deliver on India’s need for a carrier and land based multi-role fighter. The Super Hornet will have not only a low acquisition cost, but it also costs less per flight hour to operate than any other tactical aircraft in U.S. forces inventory. And with a plan for constant innovation, the F/A-i8 Super Hornet, as claimed, outpace threats, bolster defence capabilities and make India stronger for decades to come. On the other hand, Lockheed Martin has also expressed its readiness to shift its F-16 fighter aircraft manufacturing unit to India — and the US government, according to the manufacturer, will allow it to do so. Lockheed , as bonus, is also prepared to transfer the technology of its third generation anti-armour Javelin guided missile system to India for its future manufacture.

My comments: HAL should not join the venture that Boeing is looking for a long time. HAL perhaps already exports components to Boeing. Instead, HAL must focus fully on design, development and manufacturing of its own fighters and helicopters of all types and requirements for defence as well as civil uses hiving off its other secondary divisions to private companies in coming years. Idea must be to become a global defence manufacturing company. It must also have a separate independent unit to design, develop, manufacture the engines too for all its planes and helicopters and application pulling the best Indian talents working anywhere in the world in next 5-10 years under the mentor ship of DRDO.

Instead of HAL, Indian Government must facilitate Boeing for the tie up with Tata Group for Hornet-18. Boeing has already joint venture with Tata group (TASL) for components which also has collaborated with GE for engine components and assembly. It will be in interest for the country to have at least two fully integrated plants -one in public and another in private sector competing with each other, each aiming at exporting up to 30% to the friendly countries around.


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