India's government has called on state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to restructure itself in light of the complex aircraft programmes it will undertake in coming years.
Speaking to a parliamentary committee, defence minister AK Antony said HAL needs to "realign its business processes for strategic alliances and joint ventures, and also to step up research and development to remain globally competitive".
Antony's comments were released in a Ministry of Defence press statement.
He specifically called on HAL to partner with indigenous design laboratories such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop indigenous aircraft, engines and systems.
©Hindustan Aernautics Ltd.
"HAL should adopt best practices followed by the global leaders in the field of management, quality control systems, vendor deployment and supply chain management," he said.
HAL is India's leading indigenous company, with annual turnover of 130 billion Indian rupees ($2.64 billion). Antony said this number is due for a "quantum" leap as HAL tackles concurrent production of aircraft such as the Tejas light combat aircraft, Dhruv light utility helicopter, Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) and a new basic trainer.
Antony noted that the private sector's role in India's defence aerospace programmes will continue to grow.
A high level committee has been studying HAL and will submit a report to the government on how to best restructure the company. It will suggest ways that HAL can better work with the private sector on major programmes.
"[The report] will also suggest measures to enhance the synergies between HAL, the private defence sector and the civilian industry. The expert group will assess the future technological and human resource requirements of HAL keeping in view the upcoming and emerging futuristic aeronautical technologies."