Bangalore: Increasing emphasis on indigenisation of the defence and aerospace sector by the government and also with foreign companies seeking local partners for the defence offsets programme has prompted public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to expand its R&D activities.
India's premier aerospace establishment will now be setting up another division in Bangalore in addition to the existing five divisions in the city. The new 'Mission and Combat System' division will operate from the Bangalore-based Design Complex and will focus on R&D activities with regard to implementation of aircraft and avionics projects on hand and also those which will be undertaken by the defence PSU in future.
The new division will not only focus on avionics systems integration and the use of smart avionics weapons systems but also act as a lead agent to encourage and assist other agencies.
The R&D focus will be on development and integration of the avionics and systems for the existing fleet of aircraft, new aircraft programmes and also unmanned aerial vehicles technology development, according to government sources.
HAL has a number of aircraft upgrade projects on hand apart from development programmes such as those of the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), Hawk, Light Combat Aircraft, Advanced Light Helicopter, Sukhoi 30 MKI.
In all the aerospace giant has orders in hand of around Rs40,000 crore.
With 70 per cent of the products being used by the Indian armed forces being imported the thrust now is on indigenisation.