SOURCE: MAHESHA M / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and India premier design and nodal agency for the Aeronautical Development Agency for LCA-Tejas program in India might be competing against each other as per latest media report of ” The Hindu ” where Chairman and Managing Director of HAL R. Madhavan said company will be interested in designing and developing a Twin-engine fighter jet for the Indian Navy.
This could be the first instance where HAL has shown interest not only in manufacturing but also in designing a new fighter jet for the Navy which could see competing proposals from the two premier aerospace agencies in the country.
The last fighter jet developed with in house design bureau of HAL was way back in the ’60s when HF-24 was developed under the leadership of German ?aerospace engineer Kurt Tank. but in mid-80, ADA was made nodal design and development agency for LCA Program after HAL refused to be the nodal agency for the program and instead became a developmental agency for the program.
Both ADA and HAL had a bit of friction off late when HAL used the Tejas Mk1 air frame to propose the development of an upgraded Mk1A fighter jet for which contract for 83 units will be signed soon. ADA then had called Mk1A fighter an Internal development of HAL and described its role has negligible largely and preferred to stayed out of it, but agreed to cooperate and share the newly developed Digital flight control computer (DFCC) from the Tejas Mk2 program for the Mk1A program.
ADA a few days back had shared early renders of ORCA ” Omni Role Combat Aircraft ” which was its proposed Twin-engine fighter jet for operations from the aircraft carrier deck to replace Mig-29K fleet. ADA has asked for nearly 13000 crores from the Indian Navy and MOD to cover the developmental cost of the new jet. Noe HAL throwing in its proposal could be interesting to see who can come up with better proposals and designs.
HAL is already working on a spin-off program from LCA-Tejas Trainer jet and is working on the development of its’s Supersonic Omni Role Trainer Aircraft (SpORT) a next-generation fighter trainer based on LCA-Tejas Trainer air frame. ADA continues to remain nodal agency for the Tejas -Mk2 and 5th Generation AMCA program but there have been attempts been made by ADA to keep HAL away from being a developmental partner for the AMCA program due to which healthy competition is building up.