Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) plans to invest 9 billion rupees ($190 million) in modernising and expanding its facilities for series production of Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters and the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT).

HAL chairman N R Mohanty says the funds will be provided by the company itself rather than its owner, the Indian government. HAL ended its 2002-3 financial year with a net profit of 4.51 billion rupees generated from turnover of 30.1 billion rupees. Exports in the year reached a record 1.03 billion rupees.

For the current financial year, Mohanty is targeting a 20% higher turnover of 36 billion rupees. "Modernisation and restructuring is the need of the hour," says Mohanty.

HAL plans to set up a state-of-the-art machining centre in Bangalore, which is expected to go onstream in the next 18 months. It will produce "generic" tools and equipment for HAL projects.

Mohanty says HAL will deliver three Sukhoi fighters and around six LCAs and 12 IJTs in calendar year 2004.

Source: Flight International