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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
Outlook.com

Buying American Blades

HAL’s Make in India prowess is ignored; Boeing to supply assault helicopters

Buying American Blades
Buying American Blades
outlookindia.com
2016-07-29T22:55:30+05:30

On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second trip to the US as PM in September last year, the Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the proposal to purchase 22 ‘assault helicopters’, or helicopter gunships, from Boeing for the Indian air force and the army. The decision had come as a surprise to experts then, for Boeing was offering a version of the Apache by way of direct sale. Moreover, this flew in the face of the Make In India policy.

Public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been manufacturing Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) and Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) for the army. Independent experts like Ashok Parthasarathy, former scientific and technology advisor to Indira Gandhi, felt HAL had the capacity to deliver assault helicopters to the IAF, but was ignored. Parthasarathy told Outlook that he had raised the issue in 2014 and 2015 “at the highest levels” of the Ministry of Def­ence. The state-owned aircraft manufacturer HAL’s proposal, he recalls, was received with great enthusiasm but was discarded for...

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