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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

हिन्दुस्तान एरोनोटिकस लिमितेड


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) based in Bangalore, India, is one of Asia's largest aerospace companies. Under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence, this state-owned company is mainly involved in aerospace industry, which includes manufacturing and assembling aircraft, navigation and related communication equipment, as well as operating airports. HAL built the first military aircraft in South Asia and is currently involved in the design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, and helicopters, as well as their components and spares. It has several facilities throughout India including Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The German engineer Kurt Tank designed the HF-24 Marut fighter-bomber, the first fighter aircraft made in India. Hindustan Aeronautics has a long history of collaboration with several other international and domestic aerospace agencies such as Airbus, Boeing, Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, Israel Aircraft Industries, RSK MiG, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce plc, Dassault Aviation, Dornier Flugzeugwerke, the Indian Aeronautical Development Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation.
HAL was established as Hindustan Aircraft in Bangalore in 1940 by Walchand Hirachand to produce military aircraft for the Royal Indian Air Force. The initiative was actively encouraged by the Kingdom of Mysore, especially by the Diwan, Sir Mirza Ismail and it also had financial help from the Indian Government. The organisation and equipment for the factory at Banglore was set up by William D. Pawley of the Intercontinental Aircraft Corporation of New York, who were an exporter of American aircraft to the region. Pawley managed to obtain a large number of machine-tools and equipment from the United States. The Indian Government bought a one-third stake in the company and by April 1941 as it believed this to be a strategic imperative. The decision by the government was primairly motivated to boost British military hardware supplies in Asia to counter the increasing threat posed by Imperial Japan during Second World War. On the 2 April 1942 the government announced that the company had been nationalised when it had bought out the stakes of Walchand Hirachand and other promoters so that it can act freely. The Mysore Kingdom refused to sell its stake in the company but yielded the management control over to the Indian Government. In 1943 the Bangalore factory was handed over to the United States Army Air Force but still using Hindustan Aircraft management. The factory expanded rapidly and became the centre for major overhaul and repair of American aircraft and was known as the 84th Air Depot. The first aircraft to be overhauled was a PBY Catalina followed by every type of aircraft operated in Indian and Burma. When returned to Indian control two-years later the factory had become one of the largest overhaul and repair organisations in the East. After India gained independence in 1947, the management of the company was passed over to the Government of India and was renamed as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on 1 October 1964 when Hindustan Aircraft Limited was merged with the Aircraft manufacturing Depot, Kanpur. Though HAL was not used actively for developing newer models of fighter jets, the company has played a crucial role in modernization of the Indian Air Force. In 1957 company started manufacturing Jet engines (Orpheus) under license from Rolls-Royce at new factory located in Bangalore. During the 1980s, HAL's operations saw a rapid increase which resulted in the development of new indigenous aircraft such as HAL Tejas and HAL Dhruv. HAL also developed an advanced version of the MiG-21, known as MiG-21 Bison, which increased its life-span by more than 20 years. HAL has also obtained several multi-million dollar contracts from leading international aerospace firms such as Airbus, Boeing and Honeywell to manufacture aircraft spare parts and engines.
HAL is one of the largest aerospace companies in Asia with its annual turnover to be running above US$2 billion. More than 40% of HAL's revenues come from international deals to manufacture aircraft engines, spare parts, and other aircraft materials.

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