During his visit to Malaysia, India’s defense minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Regional Marketing Office in Kuala Lumpur on July 11. This office aims to strengthen defense industrial collaboration between India and Malaysia and will also serve as a central point for HAL’s engagement with the wider South-East Asian region. Additionally, it will act as a gateway for other Indian Defense Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), according to a statement from India’s defense ministry. The company is overseen by a board of directors appointed by the President of India through the Ministry of Defence
Headquartered in Bangalore, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a prominent Indian public sector aerospace and defense company. With a rich history dating back to its establishment on December 23, 1940, HAL is recognized as one of the world’s oldest and largest manufacturers in the aerospace and defense industry. Its involvement in aircraft manufacturing dates back to 1942 when it began licensed production of aircraft like the Harlow PC-5, Curtiss P-36 Hawk, and Vultee A-31 Vengeance for the Indian Air Force. Currently, HAL operates 11 dedicated research and development centers and 21 manufacturing divisions spread across four production units in India.
The recently inaugurated Regional Marketing Office has garnered attention for its potential to provide maintenance and support services for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Sukhoi Su-30 fleet. HAL is a major producer of the Russian-origin Su-30s and had also been exploring the possibility of supplying spare parts to the RMAF. It is worth noting that HAL had established its overseas marketing office in Kuala Lumpur in August 2022, with the intention of securing a deal for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. However, in the competition for the contract, HAL lost to South Korean manufacturers who offered Malaysia their FA-50 light attack jets.