Swiss aerospace firm Ruag is offering Hindustan Aeronautics the opportunity to perform engine and propeller upgrades for India's Do228 aircraft.
India is a major operator of the twin-engined turboprop and HAL has produced approximately 100 Do228s under licence, said Ruag. The Indian Air Force operates 40 in the transport role and the Indian Navy operates 26 in the maritime patrol role. India's armed forces will eventually operate up to 100 Do228s.
The proposed upgrade will see the engines of India's Do228s changed to Do 228NG (Next Generation) standard, with five-bladed composite propellers and a Honeywell TPE331-10 engine.
The HAL offer excludes the upgrade of the Do228's cockpit or avionics to Do228NG standard, which offers a range of avionics improvements and includes a glass cockpit. Ruag added that the upgrade to Do228NG standard is possible and has been offered to other Do228 operators.
"The upgrade for the propeller and engine is not complicated," said Ruag. "The engines can be turned in three weeks. An avionics upgrade is much more complex, with turnaround time of approximately six months."
Ruag said there are a number of benefits for the engine and propeller upgrade, such as reduced noise, better power, and higher ground clearance, which is useful when operating from gravel or unprepared runways. The time between overhauls can be as long as 7,000 hours, depending on utilisation.
Ruag added that HAL is licensed to produce only the Do228 Classic, not the Do228NG, which is produced solely by Ruag.
The Do228NG is a modernised version of the Do228-212 that first flew in the 1980s.
The Do228NG made its Asian air show debut in early December this year at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia. In addition, Ruag is planning to bring the aircraft to the Singapore Air Show in February 2012.