The Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Helicopter Factory at Tumakuru in Karnataka on February 06, 2023. He took a walkthrough of the Helicopter Facility & Structure Hangar and unveiled the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). The factory is India’s largest helicopter manufacturing facility and will initially produce LUHs. The LUH is an indigenously designed and developed three-ton class, single engine multipurpose utility helicopter with unique features of high manoeuvrability. Initially, this factory will produce around 30 helicopters per year and can be enhanced to 60 and then 90 per year in a phased manner. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said, Karnataka is a land of saints and sages that have always strengthened the Indian traditions of spirituality, knowledge and scientific values. He lauded the talent and innovation of Karnataka’s youth and said the manufacturing sector’s strength is manifested in products from drones to Tejas fighter planes. “Double-engine government has made Karnataka the first choice of investors,” the Prime Minister asserted and illustrated the point by the HAL project dedicated today, for which he had laid the foundation stone in 2016 with a pledge for reducing foreign dependence for defence needs.
The Prime Minister expressed delight that hundreds of arms and defence equipment are being manufactured in India which are being used by the Armed Forces. Throwing light on the aerospace sector, the Prime Minister pointed out that the investment made in this sector in the last 8-9 years is five times the investment made before 2014 plus 15 years prior. The Prime Minister underlined that Made in India arms are not just supplied to the armed forces but the defence exports have also grown manifold when compared to the years before 2014. He emphasised that hundreds of helicopters are going to be manufactured in this facility itself in the near future which will give rise to businesses worth Rs four lakh crore. The Prime Minister referred to the recent propaganda to target the government in the name of HAL and said that falsehood, no matter how big, frequent or high, is always defeated in the face of truth. India has been a major centre for production and export of silk, cotton & steel and it has now embarked on a journey to become a global hub in manufacturing, especially in the field of defence. He described the HAL Helicopter Factory as a testament to the country’s growing indigenous capabilities and the Government’s unwavering resolve to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence manufacturing.
The Greenfield Helicopter Factory, spread across 615 acres of land, is planned with a vision to become a one-stop solution for all helicopter requirements of the country. After initially producing LUHs, the factory will be augmented to produce other helicopters such as Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMRHs). It will also be used for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of LCH, LUH, Civil Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and IMRH in the future. Potential exports of civil LUH will also be catered to from this factory. The HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes, with a total business of over Rs four lakh crores over a period of 20 years. Besides generating direct and indirect employment, the Tumakuru facility will boost the development of surrounding areas through its CSR activities with large-scale community centric programmes on which the company will spend substantial amounts. All this will result in improvement in the people’s lives in the region.
The proximity of the factory, with the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru, will boost the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the region and support skill & infrastructure development such as schools, colleges and residential areas. Medical and health care would also reach the community residing in the various nearby Panchayats. With the establishment of facilities like Heli-Runway, Flight Hangar, Final Assembly Hangar, Structure Assembly Hangar, Air Traffic Control and various supporting service facilities, the factory is fully operational. This factory is being equipped with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques for its operations. This factory will enable India to meet its entire requirement of helicopters without import and giving much needed fillip to the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in helicopter design, development, and manufacture. Karnataka Chief Minister Shri Basavaraj Bommai, Ministers of the state government and senior officials of Ministry of Defence were among those present on the occasion.