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In a significant move to bolster India’s aerospace industry, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is gearing up to outsource the entire airframe of its upcoming 13-ton Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) program to private sector companies. The IMRH program is set to usher in a new era of collaboration between public and private sectors, as it embraces the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) model. This model involves the creation of a new company with a majority stake that will handle the airframe assembly, marking a significant step towards bolstering India’s indigenous aerospace capabilities.

Private sector companies in India have already demonstrated their prowess in manufacturing airframe cabin assemblies for internationally renowned aerospace companies. At least three private sector firms, each with varying degrees of prior experience in helicopter airframe manufacturing, have expressed their interest in the IMRH program.

HAL’s strategy for the IMRH program includes the construction of a ground-test vehicle and a crash-testing airframe, both designed for extensive testing before the commencement of prototype development. HAL plans to manufacture three IMRH prototypes, which will be subjected to rigorous developmental trials. The success of these trials will pave the way for the IMRH’s production, with HAL anticipating orders for approximately 400 units from the Indian Tri-service sector, starting in 2031.

The IMRH program signifies a significant stride toward enhancing India’s aerospace manufacturing capabilities and achieving self-reliance in helicopter production. By engaging private sector companies in this ambitious project, HAL is not only fostering innovation but also paving the way for a brighter future for the Indian aerospace industry. This initiative highlights India’s commitment to bolstering its domestic aerospace sector and reducing reliance on foreign manufacturers, thus positioning the nation as a formidable player in the global aerospace arena.

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