Bengaluru: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has launched the production of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s (HAL) 5.8-tonne category Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).
Furthermore, Jaitley also dedicated the role change design upgrade program of the new combat capable Hawk-i (India) to the nation.
Talking about the Hawk-i programme, it is part of HAL’s attempts to come up with products on its own and take it to potential buyers—a contrast to its earlier practised policy of developing according to armed forces needs.
This happens to be the HAL 100th Hawk jet trainer aircraft with designation as Hawk-i (Hawk-India).
“In the present geopolitical situation, India is located somewhat sensitively,” Jaitley said on Saturday in Bengaluru. Stating that India had dealt with threats in the past, Jaitley said that the country has to ensure it never falls behind on (defence) preparedness. “It is extremely necessary that we came out of this mindset that India will always be a buyer of defence equipment. Our narrow policies also contributed to this,” pointed out Jaitley.
Finance minister also pinpointed that India to graduate from being a buyer into a major manufacturer and supplier to other countries in the world.
Recent survey say that between 2012 and 2016, India accounted for 13% of the global arms imports, according to a 2017 report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute—a group that tracks global arms purchases.
Further, India is on top of the ladder which included Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, China and Algeria, the report had stated.
“It is clear that we are systematically moving in a direction where we wish make ourselves a major manufacturing hub, not only for supplying for ourselves (but) for the rest of the world,” he said.
“The helicopter can carry out operational roles under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert, cold weather and Himalayan altitudes,” HAL said.