] HAL Passenger Jets will Get a Global Profile BANGALORE: Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) will once again venture into producing a regional transport aircraft. A tender calling for foreign partners for the estimated Rs 7,000- crore project will be floated early next year, to produce a 60-80-seater passenger aircraft. The project will be undertaken by a consortium of Indian and global partners on a risk reward model. As per the assessment of civil aviation markets in India, there is a need for 200 passenger jet aircraft in India in the next five years, mostly for smaller domestic routes." As the aeronautical ecosystem in India is yet to mature, especially when it comes to dependency on engines, we will finalize our approach on cooperation with partners soon," said T Suvarna Raju, chairman and managing director, HAL. The emphasis on global partnership will be engine production."If a passenger aircraft has to be economical, the engine is crucial. So we may co-develop a futuristic, green engine with global partners," he said. National Aerospace Laboratories and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd jointly planned to get partners for the production of transport aircraft RTA-70, however, the project did not take off. He added that the project `has no life further'. Raju said developing an indigenous engine would be a priority in the next 25 years. "HAL developed the first engine (3.73 kN) for UAV Lakshya. GTRE is working on the Kaveri engine which is one 80kN class. So we are concentrating on a 25kN engine, which is used for trainer aircraft and business jets," he said. HAL will also double production capacity of the LCA from eight aircraft per year to 16, in anticipation of the 108 aircraft order, at Rs 2,100 crore. Half the cost will be borne by HAL and the remaining funded by the Indian Air Force and Navy.