Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Type State-owned enterprise
Industry Aerospace and defence
Founded 1940 (in 1964, company took on current name)
Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Key people RK Tyagi (Chairman),
S.Subrahmanyan MD (MiG complex),
VM Chamola,Director (HR),
T Suvarna Raju, Director (Design & Development),
K Naresh Babu MD (Bangalore complex),
Dr. AK Mishra, Director (Finance)
Products Aerospace equipment
Military aircraft
Communication, Airborne Radar & Navigation equipment
Space systems
Revenue Rs 14329 Crs (2012-13)
Employees 33,990 (2010)
Website http://www.hal-india.com/

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Sanskrit: हिन्दुस्तान् एरोनौटिक्स् लिमिटेड्) (HAL) (Sanskrit: हि ए लि) based in Bangalore, India, is one of Asia's largest aerospace companies. Under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence, this state-owned company is mainly involved in aerospace industry, which includes manufacturing and assembling aircraft, navigation and related communication equipment, as well as operating airports.

HAL built the first military aircraft in South Asia and is currently involved in the design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, and helicopters, as well as their components and spares. It has several facilities spread across several states in India including Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The German engineer Kurt Tank designed the HF-24 Marut fighter-bomber, the first fighter aircraft made in India.

Hindustan Aeronautics has a long history of collaboration with several other international and domestic aerospace agencies such as Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, Elbit Systems, Israel Aircraft Industries, RSK MiG, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce plc, Dassault Aviation, MBDA, EADS, Tupolev, Ilyushin Design Bureau, Dornier Flugzeugwerke, the Indian Aeronautical Development Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation.


Production line of the HAL Dhruv at Bangalore

HAL was established as Hindustan Aircraft in Bangalore in 1940 by Seth Walchand Hirachand to produce military aircraft for the Royal Indian Air Force. The initiative was actively encouraged by the Kingdom of Mysore, especially by the Diwan, Sir Mirza Ismail and it also had financial help from the Indian Government. Mysore was favoured because of the availability of cheap electricity.[1] The organisation and equipment for the factory at Bangalore was set up by William D. Pawley of the Intercontinental Aircraft Corporation of New York, an exporter of American aircraft to the region. Pawley managed to obtain a large number of machine-tools and equipment from the United States.

The Indian Government bought a one-third stake in the company and by April 1941 as it believed this to be a strategic imperative. The decision by the government was primarily motivated to boost British military hardware supplies in Asia to counter the increasing threat posed by Imperial Japan during Second World War. The Kingdom of Mysore supplied two directors, Air Marshal John Higgins was resident director. The first aircraft built was a Harlow PC-5[2] On 2 April 1942, the government announced that the company had been nationalised when it had bought out the stakes of Seth Walchand Hirachand and other promoters so that it could act freely. The Mysore Kingdom refused to sell its stake in the company but yielded the management control over to the Indian Government.

In 1943 the Bangalore factory was handed over to the United States Army Air Forces but still using Hindustan Aircraft management. The factory expanded rapidly and became the centre for major overhaul and repair of American aircraft and was known as the 84th Air Depot. The first aircraft to be overhauled was a Consolidated PBY Catalina followed by every type of aircraft operated in India and Burma. When returned to Indian control two years later the factory had become one of the largest overhaul and repair organisations in the East. In the post war reorganization the company built railway carriages as an interim activity.

IJT prototype in its hangar.

After India gained independence in 1947, the management of the company was passed over to the Government of India.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was formed on 1 October 1964 when Hindustan Aircraft Limited joined the consortium formed in June by the IAF Aircraft Manufacturing Depot, Kanpur (at the time manufacturing HS.748 under licence) and the group recently set up to manufacture Mig-21 under licence (with its new factories planned in Koraput, Nasik and Hyderabad).[3] Though HAL was not used actively for developing newer models of fighter jets, except for the HF-24 Marut, the company has played a crucial role in modernization of the Indian Air Force. In 1957 company started manufacturing Bristol Siddeley Orpheus jet engines under license at new factory located in Bangalore.

During the 1980s, HAL's operations saw a rapid increase which resulted in the development of new indigenous aircraft such as the HAL Tejas and HAL Dhruv. HAL also developed an advanced version of the MiG-21, known as MiG-21 Bison, which increased its life-span by more than 20 years. HAL has also obtained several multi-million dollar contracts from leading international aerospace firms such as Airbus, Boeing and Honeywell to manufacture aircraft spare parts and engines.

By 2012, HAL was reportedly been bogged down in the details of production and has been slipping on its schedules.[4]


One of the largest aerospace companies in Asia, HAL has annual turnover of over US$2 billion. More than 40% of HAL's revenues come from international deals to manufacture aircraft engines, spare parts, and other aircraft materials. A partial list of major operations undertaken by HAL includes the following:

International agreements[edit]

HAL Dhruv helicopters of the Ecuadorian Air Force in 2009 Aero India
An IAF BAe Hawk being license-produced at the HAL Hawk production facility in Bangalore

Domestic agreements[edit]

In-house developed products[edit]

Agricultural aircraft[edit]

Fighter aircraft[edit]

HAL Tejas


HAL Dhruv of the Indian Army


Trainer aircraft[edit]

Closeup of a HAL Kiran aircraft
  • HT-2 - First company design to enter production.
  • HPT-32 Deepak - Basic Trainer in service for more than three decades.
  • HJT-16 Kiran — Mk1, Mk1A and Mk2 - Turbojet trainers scheduled to be replaced with IJT like HJT-36 Sitara
  • HTT-34 - Turboprop Version of HPT-32 Deepak
  • HTT-35 - Proposed basic trainer replacement for HPT-32 in early 90s but was not pursued
  • HJT-36 Sitara — Intermediate Jet Trainer (under development) (Inducted as LSP waiting further orders)
  • HAL HTT-40 Basic Trainer (Under proposal)
  • HAL HJT 39 / CAT Advanced Jet Trainer (Under proposal)

Observation and reconnaissance aircraft[edit]

Transport and passenger aircraft[edit]

Saras, developed by HAL Lucknow and National Aerospace Laboratories.

Utility aircraft[edit]


  • HAL G-1 — HAL's first original design, dating from 1941. Only one was built.
  • Ardhra — training glider
  • Rohini

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles[edit]

Licenced production[edit]

HAL licenced-built Su-30 MKI


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aircraft Factory for India Flight 10 October 1940 p. 305.
  2. ^ "Hindustan Aircraft Ltd" Flight 27 August 1954 p. 296.
  3. ^ HAL Preserved Flight International 1964
  4. ^ "HAL slipping up on deliveries as it handles too many projects." The Hindu Business Line, March 3, 2012.
  5. ^ 20:19 21/10/2010+7°C (2009-01-22). "In Brief - Russia’s next-generation warplane scheduled for maiden flight in 2009 | NEWS | The Moscow News". Mnweekly.ru. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  6. ^ Dec 5, 2007 (2007-12-05). "Asia Times Online :: South Asia news - India takes aim at next level of defense". Atimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  7. ^ Boeing to export up to $1 billion in work to India |TheNewsTribune.com |Tacoma, WA[dead link]
  8. ^ "Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Ilyushin start work on multi-role transport aircraft". domain-b.com. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  9. ^ "India Signs Contract For $964M MiG-29 Upgrade". Aviation Week. 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  10. ^ "HAL to make 1,000 Honeywell engines". The Financial Express. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  11. ^ HAL to make new generation Dornier aircraft[dead link]
  12. ^ "National : HAL bags $150-million Airbus order". The Hindu. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  13. ^ "Israel News : Israel outsources $100-mn composites for UAVs to India". Israelenews.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  14. ^ "Honeywell opens $65m R&D facility in Bangalore". Pacetoday.com.au. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  15. ^ "Hindustan Aeronautics gets $50.7 mln helicopter contract from Ecuador air force". Forbes.com. 2008-06-26. Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  16. ^ 7 Sep, 2008, 09.40AM IST,PTI (2008-09-07). "HAL to have maintenance base in Ecuador - The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  17. ^ "TajaNews". TajaNews. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  18. ^ "HAL secures order for ambulance version of ALH Dhruv from Peru". domain-b.com. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  19. ^ "HAL bags $20 million contract for supply of three Dhruv helicopters to Turkey". domain-b.com. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  20. ^ 10 Jun, 2009, 08.48PM IST,PTI (2009-06-10). "HAL bags $10 mn order for Chetak, Cheetah from Namibia". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  21. ^ PTI, Mar 1, 2009, 04.30pm IST (2009-03-01). "India signs pact for supply of Dhruv helicopters to Mauritius". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  22. ^ PTI, Apr 2, 2008, 04.41am IST (2008-04-02). "'India, Israel developing unmanned helicopter' -Gulf-World-The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  23. ^ "India to construct new aerospace hub". Itexaminer.com. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  24. ^ "HAL to upgrade Indian Jaguar fleet". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  25. ^ PTI, Aug 16, 2007, 04.11pm IST (2007-08-16). "Hindustan Aeronautics to set up pilot training school-India Business-Business-The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  26. ^ AFP: India awards Russia billion dollar MiG-29 upgrade

External links[edit]