Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been awarded a contract to deliver additional Do-228 light transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju said: "Apart from these aircraft, the contract valued at around Rs10.9bn includes six reserve engines, one flight simulator, and associated equipment.
"This also reflects the trust of the defence customers on HAL, and we remain committed to supporting Indian defence services for all its needs."
Under the contract, the company’s Kanpur-based transport aircraft division will manufacture and supply 14 Do-228 aircraft to the IAF, which already operates 40 Do 228-201 aircraft.
The Do-228 is manufactured by HAL under license from Dornier. It is a twin-turboprop short takeoff and landing utility aircraft, and can be deployed for aircrew training, maritime surveillance, search and rescue, border patrolling, and medical evacuation missions.
The multi-purpose, fuel-efficient aircraft is fitted with a retractable tricycle landing gear. It is designed to take off from approximately 700m and land within 575m. The aircraft can also be used in passenger and cargo transportation as an air taxi for corporate purposes.
Do-228 features a rectangular cabin that offers more head space for passengers and mounting space for equipment in case of special mission configuration compared to circular cabin. It also has a low floor level and wide door for easy loading / unloading of cargo, flight openable roller door, as well as four wing hard points for mounting of external loads up to 1030kg.
In addition, the aircraft has a high wing design for unobstructed view and radar coverage, and records optimum performance at normal cruising altitude for short haul applications, due to the revolutionary design of its wing aerofoil.
To date, HAL’s transport aircraft division has built 125 Do-228 aircraft that have been delivered to several military and defence customers across Asia.
Image: An Indian Air Force’s Do-228 light transport aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.