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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is gearing up for the commencement of manufacturing for the Saras MkII, a 19-seater aircraft designed to bridge air connectivity gaps in India’s hinterland regions. This indigenous project, spearheaded by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL), is poised to take Indian civil aviation to new heights.

The project is expected to gain significant momentum later this year with the release of the final aircraft drawings. CSIR-NAL has already placed orders for crucial components and avionics, paving the way for a smooth transition into manufacturing.

The Saras MkII boasts a versatile design, catering to diverse needs beyond passenger transport. Its adaptability allows for modifications to serve as a carrier for civilian or military purposes, including air ambulance and VIP transport roles. This multi-functionality makes the Saras MkII an attractive proposition for various sectors.

CSIR-NAL plans to initially manufacture two Saras MkII prototypes for developmental trials. A potential third prototype might be added later to expedite the final certification process. The first test flight is anticipated by early 2026, with series production targeted for 2028-29.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has emerged as one of the first confirmed customers for the Saras MkII, that will be placing an initial order for 15 units. The Navy might join in for procurement of the Maritime Patrol Aircraft variant of the Saras MkII.

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