Bengaluru: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has set up a second line for the series production of Tejas. The new line has come up at Aircraft Division in December 2016, with the facility now being equipped with full-fledged assembly jigs.
Currently Tejas SP-5 is being integrated here, while SP-4 already moved to the final stages of systems checking at the LCA Division. HAL has converted the erstwhile Kiran hangar to set up this additional production line.
The second line when fully operational can produce three aircraft per year.
HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju told Mathrubhumi that his team is committed to delivering the remaining series production Tejas platforms without any delays.
“We had our share of concerns and all that has been put behind now. We had adopted all modern production philosophies to roll out a world class fighter. The feedback from the user has been encouraging. You will see SP-4 and SP-5 flying soon,” says Raju.
The additional facility has been set up notwithstanding the approval from Ministry of Defence for another full-fledged Tejas production line. This is to augment the Tejas production so that the Indian Air Force could strengthen the No 45 Squadron.
HAL awaits the crucial Cabinet Committee on Security nod for the third Tejas production line. Around 30,000 sq meters of HAL land has been identified near Nekkundi for setting up structural assembly hangar, process shop and sheet metal shop, among others.
During a recent visit to Tejas facilities, V Sridharan, ED of LCA Division, gave an update on the series of new initiatives taken by HAL.
“We have established a new tarmac for the No 45 Squadron for day and night operations. A second dedicated drop tank test rig also has come up now, in addition to a new storage area space as well,” says Sridharan.
He said during the outstation detachment at AFS Thanjavur recently, SP-1 and SP-2 flew seven sorties in a single day.
As reported earlier, a 2400 sqm LCA Final Assembly hangar with annexe building has already been established. Also, a state-of-the-art painting facility is operational now.
“This is the first of its kind in the country. It has a wet type downdraft paint booth facility,” adds Sridharan.
(The writer is the Content Consultant with Mathrubhumi (English Online) and tweets @writetake.)