Letters : HAL replies to Ajai Shukla’s columns

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by sasi, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Letters : HAL replies to Ajai Shukla’s columns | idrw.org
    This refers to Ajai Shukla’s column “Making the Tejas fly” (Broadsword, December 11) and his report “Rs 1,500crore more for combat aircraft Tejas as HAL fails tomeet target” (December 9). We are pained that he has chosen to criticise Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) based on half-truths and comments made by a retired personnel.
    Let us not forget that there are delays in aerospace projects worldwide. Singling out HAL is, therefore, not fair. Given the national interest involved, comments against HAL and its “monopoly” too should be taken with a pinch of salt. We can confirm that the project is under consideration for upgrade offacilities to enable HAL to ramp up its production-capacity. The benefit of the funding is not intended for the current order that HAL already has in hand, but the actual requirement will be forfuture orders.
    It should be noted that Tejasis currently not produced to frozen designs, as it has been conceived as a concurrent design and manufacturing programme. Inputs from flight trails are utilised to refine the design of the various systems and are incorporated in builing the next aircraft. Hence, changes take place in the hardware (structure) and considerable effort is involved to absorb these modifications in the subsequent aircraft. It is not that HAL does not have the capacity for production of Tejas aircraft. The production facility is already in place and the manufacturing of LSP (LimitedSeried Production) aircraft isunder progress. Contrary to what is suggested, HAL and the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) have cordial relations.
    The writer says HAL-built Sukhois are costlier when compared to the job done in Russia. He ignores the “life-cycle costs”, though difficult to estimate at this stage, would be significantly higher if India depends on foreign suppliers in sustaining such sophisticated aircraft. After all, these Sukhois are likely to serve us, say, up to 30 years, and would need overhauling, repairs and upgrades that need to be carried out on Indian soil.
    Gopal Sutar
    Chief of Media Communications
    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
    Ajai Shukla’s response:
    My opinion piece argues, among other things, that poor production quality erodes the Indian Air Force’sconfidence in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-built aircraft. These points are known, acknowledged internationallyand accepted by credible analysts in the Indian aerospace community — the Indian Air Force, the Ministryof Defence, private sector defence companies and a growing number of people within HAL. I stand by the views expressed in my column.
    The report in question is based on an official briefing by Aeronautical DevelopmentAgency (ADA), and multiple conversations with serving Ministry of Defence and Indian Air Force officials, whoare obviously sensitive about being quoted. While rebutting nothing factual in the article, HAL wrongly saysthe report suggests bad blood between HAL and ADA. The report quotes ADA Director P S Subramanian to defend HAL. How does the article allege poor relations between HAL and ADA if it quotes the ADA chief defending HAL?
    HAL does not deny that the Sukhois it builds are far more expensive than buyingfrom Russia directly. Instead,it claims that building in HAL lowers the aircraft’s life-cycle costs. Actually, despite paying its workers less than Russian manufacturers, HAL is costlier in manufacturing, repair as well as overhaul. HAL also claims that delays are endemic to fighter production and, therefore, nothing need be said. In fact,HAL has long exhausted all the slack that the Ministry ofDefence and Indian Air Force could cut for it. In the eyes of its customers, HAL’s delays can no longer be condoned.
    Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to:
    The Editor, Business Standard
  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

    Mar 10, 2009
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    EST, USA
    What is a "flight trail?"
  4. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    flight trail or flight trial? typo may be!!!1

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