Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for development and production of composite raw materials during the Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru on February 04, 2021. This is the first time that such an MoU has been signed for composite raw materials. The MoU was signed by Chairman and Managing Director, HAL Shri R Madhavan and Chairman and Managing Director, MIDHANI Dr S K Jha in the presence of other senior officials.
Mr R Madhavan said composites are one area where HAL will collaborate. Composites raw materials, mainly in the form of prepregs used in platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) are currently imported.
The CMD of MIDHANI Shri S K Jha said, this is the major step forward in the area of composite materials. The HAL is not only taking care of frontline aircraft production but also raw materials. There is no equivalent proven Indian approved/qualified supplier for various types of prepregs (carbon, aramid, glass types, etc) for the aircraft applications. This creates dependency on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Aligned with “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative, efforts need to be made to develop and manufacture such prepregs in India through collaboration, he added.
The usage of composites in the aerospace is going to exist and increase, particularly for fighter aircraft/helicopter because of its inherent advantages over metallic raw materials. In addition, similar requirement exists for other aerospace and defence programmes, including those of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).