Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India's premier state-run aerospace company, announced plans to allocate Rs 2,000 crore ($240 million) to Research and Development (R&D) this year, according to a statement by a top official on Wednesday (6 December).
D K Sunil, HAL's Director of Engineering and R&D, during a briefing ahead of the upcoming Avionics Expo 2023, stated, "We are investing over Rs 2,000 crore this year in R&D."
The Expo, scheduled to be held at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi from December 7 to 8, will showcase HAL's advancements in cutting-edge avionics systems, with panel discussions, live demonstrations, and networking opportunities.
Emphasising HAL's commitment to 'Atmanirbharta' or self-reliance in defence, Sunil remarked, "We have been championing self-reliance over time and want to highlight our advancements at the expo."
He also highlighted HAL's extensive R&D setup, comprising nine centres, and its focus on developing critical avionics components.
The 'Avionics Expo 2023' is set to be a convergence point for industry professionals and stakeholders, aimed at fostering collaborations and demonstrating HAL's role in advancing aerospace technology in India.
However, the announcement of a ₹2,000 crore investment in R&D has sparked concerns in some circles, particularly given the Indian government's recent approval of orders worth over ₹1.6 lakh crore to HAL.
This includes manufacturing 97 LCA Tejas jets, 156 LCH Prachand helicopters, and upgrading 84 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI jets.
Experts have raised questions about whether this sum is sufficient, considering the capital-intensive nature of defence R&D projects.
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