Defence minister AK Antony on Saturday will inaugurate Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL) Strategic Electronics Factory, which will manufacture advanced avionics for combat aircraft and helicopters, at Kasargod in Kerala.
“Avionics plays a major role in the functioning of modern aircraft and contributes significantly to the value of aircraft and helicopters. Considering its huge potential in the coming years, a new manufacturing facility for a variety of avionics has been established at Kasargod,” said RK Tyagi, HAL chairman.
Spread out in 196 acres at Kerala Infrastructure Development Park, it took nearly four years for the facility to come to the production stage. The land was provided by the Kerala government in 2007 and the actual construction began in 2008. Kasargod was short listed based on the availability of land, power, water and logistic facilities.
The first phase of this factory, set up at the cost of ` 66 crore, has seven buildings in an area of 4,250 sq metres. They cater to activities such as production, administration, technical services, materials management, security, medical, canteen and for government agencies (Air Force and DGAQA). A sub-station has also been set-up.
The factory currently deals with the production of airborne special purpose computers such as mission computer, display processor, radar computers and open architect mission computer for SU-30, LCA and MiG-27 upgrade aircraft.
In phase-II it will undertake the manufacture of avionics for medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) such as automatic electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare (EW) suite, communication and navigation equipment, and other indigenous projects such as softnet defined radio and interrogate friend-foe (IFF) Mark-XII.
The facilities and expertise acquired at this factory for advanced avionics of MMRCA would be used for various upcoming projects such as fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), multi-role transport aircraft (MTA), light utility helicopter (LUH), light combat helicopter (LCH), medium lift helicopter (MLH) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). HAL hopes that this facility will spur growth of ancillary industries in Kasargod and the catchment areas in Kerala and Karnataka.