Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

Last updated

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Public Sector Undertaking
Traded as
Industry Aerospace and Defence
Founded1940;80 years ago (1940)
(As Hindustan Aircraft)
1964;56 years ago (1964)
(Renamed Hindustan Aeronautics)
Key people
R Madhavan, (Chairman and Managing director) [2]
Products Transport aircraft
Fighter aircraft
RevenueIncrease2.svg21,100 crore (US$3.0 billion) [3] (2019/20)
Increase2.svg3,295 crore (US$460 million) [4] (2017/18)
Increase2.svg2,692.5 crore (US$380 million) [5]
Total assets 73,898.42 crore (US$10 billion) [5]
Total equity 85,014.64 crore (US$12 billion) [5]
Number of employees
32,109 [5]
(April 2015)
Website hal-india.co.in

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company headquartered in Bangalore (Bengaluru), India. It is governed under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence.


The government-owned corporation is primarily involved in the operations of the aerospace and is currently involved in the design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, helicopters and their spare parts. It has several facilities spread across India including Bangalore, Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Kasaragod. The HAL HF-24 Marut fighter-bomber was the first fighter aircraft made in India.


HAL was established as Hindustan Aircraft Limited in Bangalore on 23 December 1940 by Walchand Hirachand who became Chairman of the company. The company's office was opened at a bungalow called "Eventide" on Domlur Road.

The organisation and equipment for the factory at Bangalore was set up by William D. Pawley of the Intercontinental Aircraft Corporation of New York. Pawley obtained 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 by investing 25 lakhs as it believed this to be a strategic imperative. The decision by the government was primarily motivated to boost British military hardware supplies in Asia to counter the increasing threat posed by Imperial Japan during Second World War. The Kingdom of Mysore supplied two directors, Air Marshal John Higgins was resident director. The first aircraft built was a Harlow PC-5 [6] On 2 April 1942, the government announced that the company had been nationalised when it had bought out the stakes of Seth Walchand Hirachand and other promoters so that it could act freely. The Mysore Kingdom refused to sell its stake in the company but yielded the management control over to the Indian Government.

The total number of broad- gauge coaches manufactured by the Hindustan Aircraft Limited during the year 1954 is 158. [7]

In 1943 the Bangalore factory was handed over to the United States Army Air Forces 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 Consolidated PBY Catalina followed by every type of aircraft operated in India 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. In the post war reorganisation the company built railway carriages as an interim activity.

IJT prototype in its hangar IJT Prototype in hangar.jpg
IJT prototype in its hangar

After India gained independence in 1947, the management of the company was passed over to the Government of India.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was formed on 1 October 1964 when Hindustan Aircraft Limited joined the consortium formed in June by the IAF Aircraft Manufacturing Depot, Kanpur (at the time manufacturing HS748 under licence) and the group recently set up to manufacture MiG-21 under licence, with its new factories planned in Koraput, Nasik and Hyderabad. [8] Though HAL was not used actively for developing newer models of fighter jets, except for the HF-24 Marut, the company has played a crucial role in modernisation of the Indian Air Force. In 1957 company started manufacturing Bristol Siddeley Orpheus jet engines under licence at new factory located in Bangalore.

Production line of the HAL Dhruv at Bangalore HAL Dhruv production line.JPG
Production line of the HAL Dhruv at Bangalore

During the 1980s, HAL's operations saw a rapid increase which resulted in the development of new indigenous aircraft such as the HAL Tejas and HAL Dhruv. HAL also developed an advanced version of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, known as MiG-21 Bison, which increased its life-span by more than 20 years. HAL has also obtained several multimillion-dollar contracts from leading international aerospace firms such as Airbus, Boeing and Honeywell to manufacture aircraft spare parts and engines.

By 2012, HAL was reportedly bogged down in the details of production and has been slipping on its schedules. [9] On 1 April 2015, HAL reconstituted its Board with TS Raju as CMD, S Subrahmanyan as Director (Operations), VM Chamola as Director (HR), CA Ramana Rao as Director (Finance) and D K Venkatesh as Director (Engineering & R&D). There are two government nominees in the board and six independent directors.

In March 2017, HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju announced that the company had finalised plans for an indigenisation drive. The company plans to produce nearly 1, 000 military helicopters, including Kamov 226, LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter), and over 100 planes over the next 10 years. HAL will manufacture the Kamov 226T helicopter under a joint venture agreement with Russian defence manufacturers. The Kamov 226T will replace the country's fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. Over the next 5 years, HAL will carry out major upgrade of almost the entire fighter fleet of Indian Air Force including Su-30MKI, Jaguars, Mirage and Hawk jets to make them "more lethal". The company will also deliver 123 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft to the IAF from 2018–19, at a rate of 16 jets per year. [10] LCH production will now take place in a newly built Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in HAL Complex. [11]

In view of Make in India policy and to increase the share of defence exports to achieve the target of $5 billion dollars by 2025, HAL is planning to setup logistic bases in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam with priority target for Southeast Asia, West Asia and North African markets. It would not only help to promote HAL products but also act as service centre for Soviet/Russian origin equipment. [12]


One of the largest aerospace companies in Asia, HAL has annual turnover of over US$2 billion. More than 40% of HAL's revenues come from international deals to manufacture aircraft engines, spare parts, and other aircraft materials. A partial list of major operations undertaken by HAL includes the following:

International agreements

HAL Dhruv helicopters of the Ecuadorian Air Force in 2009 Aero India Dhruv Ecuador.jpg
HAL Dhruv helicopters of the Ecuadorian Air Force in 2009 Aero India
An IAF BAe Hawk being licence-produced at the HAL Hawk production facility in Bangalore Hawk production at HAL.JPG
An IAF BAe Hawk being licence-produced at the HAL Hawk production facility in Bangalore

Domestic agreements

Indigenous products

Over the years, HAL has designed and developed several platforms like the HAL HF-24 Marut, [35] [ circular reference ] HAL Advance Light Helicopter Dhruv, [36] [ circular reference ] HAL Light Utility Helicopter, [37] [ circular reference ] HAL Light Combat Helicopter [38] [ circular reference ] to name a few. HAL also manufactures indigenous products with technology transferred from the DRDO, in association with Bharat Electronics for its avionics and Indian Ordnance Factories for the on-board weapons systems and ammunition.

HAL supplies ISRO, the integrated L-40 stages for GSLV Mk II, propellant tanks, feed lines of PSLV, GSLV MKII and GSLV MKIII launch vehicles and structures of various satellites. [39]

Agricultural aircraft

Fighter aircraft



GTX-35VS Kaveri prototype testing Kaveriprototype.jpg
GTX-35VS Kaveri prototype testing

Trainer aircraft

Observation and reconnaissance aircraft

Transport and passenger aircraft

Utility aircraft

HAL-26 Pushpak Hindusthan HUL-26 Pushpak G-AVPO Chester 29.06.85 edited-3.jpg
HAL-26 Pushpak


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Licensed production

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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HAL Dhruv utility helicopter family

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HAL HF-24 Marut 1961 fighter aircraft family by Hindustan Aircraft Limited

The HAL HF-24 Marut was an Indian fighter-bomber aircraft of the 1960s. Developed by Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL), with Kurt Tank as lead designer. It is the first Indian-developed jet aircraft, and the first Asian jet fighter to go beyond the test phase and into successful production and active service. On 17 June 1961, the type conducted its maiden flight; on 1 April 1967, the first production Marut was officially delivered to the IAF.

HAL HJT-36 Sitara A indegeneously developed intermediate jet trainer

The HAL HJT-36 Sitara is a subsonic intermediate jet trainer aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. The HJT-36 will replace the HAL HJT-16 Kiran as the Stage-2 trainer for the two forces.

Sarang display team

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HAL HJT-16 Kiran 1964 training aircraft family by Hindustan Aeronautics

The HAL HJT-16 Kiran is an Indian two-seat intermediate jet-powered trainer aircraft designed and manufactured by aircraft company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

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HAL HTT-40 Basic Training Aircraft

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HAL Tejas Mk2 Indian multirole fighter

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