Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Ilyushin start work on multi-role transport aircraft

Bangalore: Asian aerospace giant and Indian state-owned enterprise, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), said Thursday it had tied up with Russian aviation major, Ilyushin Aviation Complex, to develop a multi-role transport (MTA) aircraft. The joint venture, with HAL and Ilyushin as partners, will take off with an initial capital base of  $600 million.

"From 1 April, we started development of the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft in Bangalore," HAL chairman, Ashok Baweja, told reporters here.

According to Baweja, a 30-member team had already been designated to develop a 60-ton class aircraft. Both HAL and Ilyushin will share development costs equally, which have been pegged at $600 million.

Ilyushin Aviation ComplexIlyushin replaces another Russian designer and manufacturer, Irkut, as partner in the venture. This is the result of an internal reorganization of the Russian aviation and aerospace complex.

Baweja said the aircraft would take about six to seven years to develop and would serve the armed forces of both countries .

The MTA is meant to replace Indian Air Force's aging Antonov-12\32 transport fleet.