Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Current Affairs - 2020

200 fighter jets to be acquired by Indian Air Force

The Government of India will acquire around 200 aircrafts. Of these 200, 83 fighter jets are LCA Tejas Mark 1A and are to be procured from HAL. The rest are to be procured based on Request for Proposals.

Highlights

The design of the fighter jets was finalized by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). HAL will start manufacturing 8 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mark 1A per year and will slowly increase the count to 16 per year. The LCA Tejas recently became the first indigenously made aircraft to make arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya.

LCA Tejas

The LCA Tejas was designed by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in 1980s. It replaced India’s MiG-21. So far, LCA Tejas is operating only in India. However, Egypt and Sri Lanka have shown interests in the aircraft. This will help India achieve its Defence exports targets of Rs 35,000 crores by 2024.

India has plans exports Tejas Mark 1A and not its advanced version Tejas Mark 2.

Tejas Mark 2

Tejas Mark 2 has increased internal fuel capacity of 3.3 tonnes. Also, it is equipped with an artificial intelligence-based cock pit that is optimally manned. It has provisions for the ground stations to take control when the pilot falls unconscious or is injured. The alert signals of unconsciousness of the pilot will be generated by his helmet.

BrahMos Air Launched Missile test fired from a Su-30 MKI

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully fired aerial version of supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.

Key Highlights

  • About: The IAF successfully fired BrahMos Air Launched Missile from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.
  • Background: Earlier on 22 November 2017, the IAF became World’s first Air Force to successfully fire an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target. Since then this was the second such live launch of weapon.
  • Result: The launch from Su-30 MKI aircraft was smooth and missile followed desired calculated trajectory before directly hitting land target.
  • Safety: The firing was successfully undertaken with dedicated support from Indian Navy which ensured that large number of monitoring ship are available for ensuring range safety clearance.
  • Significance: The capability of BrahMos missile coupled with superlative performance of Su-30MKI aircraft gives IAF its desired strategic reach.
  • Complex Process: The integration of missile weapon on aircraft was a very complex process which involved electrical, mechanical and software modifications on aircraft. The IAF engineers undertook software development of aircraft and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out mechanical and electrical modifications on aircraft.
  • Others involved: The dedicated and synergetic efforts of IAF, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (BAPL) proved the nation’s capability of undertaking such complex integrations.

About BrahMos Air Launched Missile

  • It is a 2.5 ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile. It range is close to 300 km, and is designed and developed by BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (BAPL).
  • The BrahMos missile provides IAF a much desired capability of striking on any target at sea or on land from large stand-off ranges with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and that too in all weather conditions.