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In a development first reported by, India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is making a strong case for the indigenous development of Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA). This comes amidst interest from established players like Lockheed Martin, Embraer, and Airbus who have submitted bids to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the project.

An anonymous HAL official, citing authorization limitations, revealed to that the company is awaiting the IAF’s decision on the desired cargo-carrying capacity for the MTA. Upon receiving this information, HAL’s Kanpur division is prepared to conduct feasibility studies for the local development of an MTA-class aircraft.

Following the selection of the Airbus C-295 in partnership with Tata for the Avro replacement program, HAL is strategically adapting its approach. They are reportedly in talks with established players to explore licensing agreements for discontinued or stalled transport aircraft designs. This strategy offers viable alternatives to the IAF in a shorter timeframe.

HAL is confident that India possesses the necessary infrastructure for the MTA program. They believe avionics and engines can be sourced readily to support a locally designed aircraft, given the go-ahead from the IAF and Ministry of Defence (MoD).

While HAL’s proposal for an indigenous MTA is intriguing, several questions remain unanswered. The IAF’s final decision on cargo capacity and its openness to a domestic solution are crucial factors. Additionally, the success of HAL’s plan hinges on securing the right licensing agreements and efficiently integrating them with existing capabilities. will continue to monitor this developing story and provide further updates as they become available.

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