HAL- India’s Global Identity in Aerospace

By Anantha Narayanan K 19-Jul-2018

News

Over the past few months, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has marked distinct achievements in various ongoing projects like taking LCA Tejas closer to FOC, indigenous Real Time Operating System (RTOS) in Hawk-i, maiden ground run for Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv Mk-III, record turnover of Rs.18000 Crores, first successful run of Hindustan Turbo-Shaft Engine -1200, successful test-firing of BrahMos missile from Su-30 MKI fighter jet among others. The state-run aerospace behemoth has been playing a major role in the defence as well as civil aviation sectors of India through design, manufacture and overhaul of fighters, trainers, helicopters, transport aircraft, engines, avionics, and system equipment. Ranked among the world’s top 100 defence companies, HAL is in fact India’s global identity in aerospace.

The Indian Aerospace Industry is witnessing an unprecedented growth and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is at the forefront spearheading the sector to scale further heights. The state-run aerospace behemoth has been playing a major role in the defence as well as civil aviation sectors of India through design, manufacture and overhaul of fighters, trainers, helicopters, transport aircraft, engines, avionics, and system equipment. The resurgence of India’s aerospace manufacturing sector has been remarkable. Not only are the profits soaring, the sector is also making its presence felt abroad as many Indian firms are becoming transnational companies. Ranked among the world’s top 100 defence companies, HAL is in fact India’s global identity in aerospace.

HAL was established to design, development, manufacture, repair and overhaul of aircraft, helicopter, engines and related systems like avionics, instruments, and accessories. At present, the major programs under progress at HAL are production of Hawk-AJT, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), DO-228 Aircraft, Dhruv-ALH and Cheetal Helicopters, Repair and Overhaul of Jaguar, Kiran MkI/IA/II, Mirage, HS-748, AN-32, MiG 21, Su-30MKI, DO-228 aircraft and ALH, Cheetah / Chetak helicopters etc. Presently, 13 types of aircraft/ helicopters and 17 types of engines are being overhauled. In addition, facilities exist for repair/ overhaul of various accessories and avionics fitted on aircraft of Russian, Western, and Indigenous designs.

Recent Major Achievements

In order to overcome the challenges in the 21st Century, HAL has redefined its mission and is striving to become a globally competitive aerospace industry while working as an instrument for achieving self-reliance in design, manufacture and maintenance of aerospace equipment, civil transport aircraft, helicopter & missiles and diversifying to related areas, managing the business on commercial lines in a climate of growing professional competence. Over the past few months, the company has marked distinct achievements in various ongoing projects like taking LCA Tejas closer to FOC, indigenous Real Time Operating System (RTOS) in Hawk-i, maiden ground run for Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv Mk-III among others.

All time High Turnover of Rs. 18K Crores

HAL has achieved a landmark turnover of over Rs. 18000 Crores (provisional and unaudited) for the year ending March 31, 2018. This was the first time HAL crossing Rs.18000 Crores. The corresponding figure for the previous year was Rs.17605 crores).  With this the company expects continued “Excellent” MoU rating for the FY 2017-18 from the government on meeting all the relevant parameters related to its performance.

During the FY 2017-18, HAL has produced 40 new aircraft/helicopters and 105 new engines. The company has also carried out overhaul of 220 aircraft/helicopters and 550 engines. It has received orders of 41 Advanced Light Helicopters and 8 Chetak helicopters from Indian Armed Forces in the financial year.   In the other major achievements, the company has received Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) certificate for its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Certificate of Airworthiness for its civil variant Dornier Do-228 from DGCA, acceptance of Mirage 2000 upgrade by Air HQ after its Final Operational Clearance etc. HAL has also completed the first successful run of Hindustan Turbo-Shaft Engine -1200 and successful test-firing of BrahMos missile from Su-30 MKI fighter jet.

Maiden Ground Run of First Green ALH Dhruv Mk-III

HAL has successfully completed the installation of basic systems and conducted the Maiden Ground Run of First Green ALH Dhruv Mk-III for Indian Coast Guard. It was handed over to the Rotary Wing R&D Centre, a design house of HAL for integration and certification of 19 new systems. Director General Rajendra Singh, Indian Coast Guard, received the contract documents from T. Suvarna Raju, CMD-HAL during the event held to mark the occasion.

It was for the first time that HAL has entered into a contract with ICG that includes Performance Based Logistics (PBL) support after the delivery of Helicopters for five years.  Already, HAL’s ALH Dhruv Helicopters have been extensively deployed by ICG for various roles such as Search and Rescue (SAR), casualty evacuation, armed patrol, coastal surveillance, VIP movement and the night SAR. The order reflects the trust on HAL’s capabilities and gives an impetus to Make-in-India campaign.  It reposes faith of the Indian Defence Forces in indigenous ALH which has been serving them with distinction for a long time.

The certified helicopter deliveries are scheduled to commence from 2020 onwards. HAL had signed a contract worth around Rs. 5126 Crores for supply of 16 ALHs (Fixed Wheel) to Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in five-year timeframe in March 2017 to boost the Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) and Coast Security capabilities. 

Private Players to Manufacture ALH Dhruv

Promoting the involvement of private players in aerospace manufacture, HAL has invited private defence manufacturers to make the civil version of its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. The move, which is for the first time in the history of India, will give a major boost to defence manufacturing and Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative. HAL has offered the indigenous ALH Dhruv’ (Civil version) for manufacturing to potential Indian private companies through Transfer of Technology (ToT).

T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, has said that the Company invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for identification of Indian Partner.  Considering the increasing need of helicopters in civil operations of the country, this will be a mega deal from HAL which is the OEM and Licensor. “HAL is the Design Authority and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of ALH-Dhruv.  The Company is now looking forward to developing a reliable Indian Partner (IP) to service the potential demand to different customers in civil sector in shorter time span,” said Suvarna Raju.

 

Hawk-i with Indigenous Avionics System

Giving further fillip to increased thrust towards technology development, HAL has flown the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk-i for the first time with an indigenous Real Time Operating System (RTOS) developed by it. The feat is another milestone for HAL as it is the first indigenous RTOS that has been developed in the country from scratch, and it is also the first instance that an indigenous RTOS has been certified by CEMILAC. The RTOS is the system software which provides a standard run-time environment for real-time applications execution in a safe and reliable manner.

Advanced modules like network stack and file system have been co-developed with IIT- Kharagpur which also carried out formal method-based verification of the RTOS kernel. At present, avionics systems in India are developed using commercial RTOS procured from foreign suppliers.  The import of technology leads to high cost, provides very limited flexibility in incorporating new features to new hardware platforms and are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To overcome this dependency and achieve self-reliance, HAL had earlier taken up the onus of designing an indigenous RTOS for safety-critical and mission-critical avionics systems.

The HAL-RTOS provides a comprehensive feature set based on international specification - ARINC-653, to support Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture. Key features include address, space and time partitioning, priority pre-emptive process scheduling and health monitoring. The RTOS performance has been validated on the Mission Computer of HAL’s Hawk-i trainer aircraft. The complete Operational Flight Program, which includes real-time sensor data processing, navigation algorithm computations, controls and display management and interface management have been ported and the RTOS has met all its design requirements during the flight.