HAL to flaunt local aircraft at Aero India in ‘Aatmanirbhar’ formation
At the upcoming Aero India 2021, locally produced aircraft and choppers will form part of the air display with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Aero India 2021 is Asia’s largest air show. The air show will be from February 3-5 at Yelahanka, outside Bengaluru.
On Friday, HAL announced that its indigenous aircraft will fly in the “Aatmanirbhar formation” at the event, showcasing India’s focus on becoming self-reliant in the defence sector. The state-owned plane maker said in a statement, “HAL will showcase its prowess in defence and aerospace centered on the theme ‘Conceive. Indigenise. Collaborate’.”
The statement said, “the ‘Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight’ in the trainer segment will feature the light combat aircraft (LCA) trainer, Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) jets, the intermediate jet trainer, advanced Hawk Mk-132 aircraft (Hawk-i) and the Dornier-228 transport plane.”
According to officials familiar with the development, more than 600 exhibitors are taking part in the biennial show, including 78 foreign exhibitors. A ₹48,000 crore deal for 83 advanced LCA aircraft for the Indian Air Force could be signed during the air show.
HAL said, “Sukhoi 30 MKI, advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, light combat helicopter (LCH), light utility helicopter (LUH) will also take part in the flying display.”
On January 13, the Prime Minister headed India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and gave green signal to a ₹48,000 crore proposal of buying 83 advanced Tejas jets to bolster the IAF’s combat potential. The aircraft to be ordered include 73 Mk-1A fighter jets and 10 LCA Mk-1 trainer aircraft. The officials said, the deal could be signed at the show next week.
HAL is expected to provide the first Mk-1A deliveries to the IAF three years after the deal is signed. All the aircraft are likely to be delivered by 2028-29.
The 40 LCAs already ordered by the IAF are in the initial operational clearance (IOC) and the more advanced final operational clearance (FOC) configurations. The LCA Mk-1A will come with additional improvements over the FOC aircraft, making it the most advanced Tejas variant so far.