Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) along with its partner Safran (French company) are soon expected to invest about Rs. 170 crores in a helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Goa. The companies will acquire land assets from the now defunct state-owned company Goa Auto Accessories Limited (GAAL).
The two companies will form a venture with each owning 50% of the stakes. The initial investment would be a whopping 50 crores. Each company will contribute 25 crores. The facility will service military helicopter engines used in the country and foreign ones as well. Initially it is touted to have a capacity to repair and service 1,000 helicopters at a time and is expected to gradually increase its servicing capacity to 5,000.
“It will improve the average turnaround of engines, which means that Army helicopters will be in good working condition. It would also make it smoother to source components and spares currently imported from Safran,” said HAL’s Chairman and Managing Director, T. Suvarna Raju explaining the advantages of having Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Safran as a partner.
According to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, this venture would also benefit Goa in terms of job creation, stating, “All this activity would be carried out in Goa, which will create employment in the state.”
Goa Auto Accessories Limited (GAAL) located at Honda in Goa was shut down in 2014 and has been on sale ever since. Earlier the company was manufacturing automobile components for TATA Motors Ltd.
The company is said to have built the M88 engine for the Rafale fighter jets which were recently purchased by India. The Shakti engine built by the company in collaboration with HAL, powers the multi-role Light Combat Helicopter and twin-engine Dhruv.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is involved in assembling and manufacturing of aircrafts, communication and navigation related equipment. Recently inducted, Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is being built by HAL.
Helicopter servicing facility is certainly an interesting venture undertaken in Goa in terms of the benefit to the Armed Forces and especially the employment it is proposed to generate.