Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has signed a tripartite contract with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation -Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA) and their JV-Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTAL) to work on the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) project.
As per an inter-governmental agreement signed between the Indian and Russian governments, the design, development and production of MTA will be carried out on a 50:50 sharing basis, while the project will be executed by the joint venture formed between HAL, UAC-TA and Rosoboronexport.
Under the contract, HAL will design and oversee the development of the MTA Aircraft at Aircraft R&D (ARDC) Centre in Bangalore, while the prototypes will be manufactured at its Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) in Kanpur, India.
Dedicated facilities will also be set up at Kanpur for serial production of the aircraft with work related to manufacture of components, sub-assemblies and composite structure being shared by HAL's other R&D Centres and manufacturing divisions while jointly working with the Russian partner.
HAL chairman RK Tyagi was quoted by The Economic Times as saying: "The twin-engine aircraft in 15-20t class will be designed, co-developed and manufactured for cargo/troop transportation; para-drop/air drop of supplies, including low altitude parachute extraction system."
Of a total requirement of 205 MTA, the Russian Air Force will receive 100 aircraft, the Indian Air Force will receive 45, with the remaining 60 intended for sale to other parties.
Work on the preliminary design of the project will commence immediately after signing the follow-up contract.
HAL manufactures transport aircraft such as the Avros HS-748 and Dornier Do-228. To date, HAL has built 116 Dorniers and 89 Avros.
Image: A model of HAL Multi Role Transport aircraft Aero India show. Photo: courtesy of Jinu.raghavan.