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HAL hopes to fly high with CATS Warrior and RUAV drones

Anil Urs Yelahanka (Bengaluru) | Updated on February 04, 2021

A full-scale model of India’s first-ever semi-stealth drone built as part of an indigenous programme called Combat Air Teaming System on display at Aero India 2021, at the Yelahanka air base   -  PTI

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received Request for Proposal from the Indian Air Force for supply of 70 Basic Trainer HTT40 aircraft.

It had recently bagged a ₹48,000-crore IAF order to supply light combat aircraft.

The RFP documents, with an additional clause for 38 more trainer aircraft, were handed over to HAL by Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, DCAS, and VL Kantha Rao, DG (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence.

The certification will be given against the Programme Compliance and Quality Review (PCQR). The production will take place at HAL’s two manufacturing units at Bengaluru and Nashik. The RFP has come within six years from the first flight of HAL, which is the shortest time-line in the aircraft industry. The trainer will have more than 60 per cent indigenous content and is supported by agencies such as CEMILAC, RDAQA and ASTE.

Arup Chatterjee, Director Engineering and R&D, HAL, said: “We are focusing on ‘CATS Warrior’ – unmanned jets operated by pilots and RUAV – drones designed to carry payload.”

Chatterjee added: “The Combined Air Teaming System (CATS) programme will have a mother ship (fighter jets) and few autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles known as CATS Warrior. The vehicle will have the capacity to carry out a strike. It will be able to stealthily enter 700 km inside enemy territory.”

On the RUAV, he said: “It is a helicopter drone concept designed to carry load to inaccessible areas, borders and high-altitude regions. This will also be fitted with a surveillance payload.”

R Madhavan, Chairman, HAL, said: “We will be ready to fly it in four-five years time and we have budgeted ₹400 crore of our own money for the projects. We are also exploring integrating CATS with Tejas and the Jaguar.” .

GE Aviation

HAL has also signed a contract with GE Aviation for the development and supply of ring forgings for GE Aviation military and commercial engine programmes. The five-year contract valued at over ₹100 crore ($15 million), involves supplying both steel and nickel alloy forgings for shrouds, cases, rings and seals. Chandrashekhar Yavarna, Senior Director, Global Sourcing Strategy, GE Aviation, handed over the contract document to HAL.

With this contract award, GE Aviation has initiated the development of a raw material supply chain in India as part of its “Make in India” and “AatmaNirbhar Bharat” strategy. The award of contract followed HAL’s successful bidding in GE’s Global request for quotes (RFQ). The ring forgings will be manufactured at HAL’s newly established, state-of-the-art ring rolling facility at the Company’s Foundry and Forge Division in Bengaluru. The division has, after a rigorous audit process, obtained GE Aviation approvals for its quality system and special processes.

Published on February 04, 2021

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