The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) proposed project of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in Goa, which failed to start despite its announcement in 2016, is likely to take off as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to move forward with the project, reports The New Indian Express.
According to the report, the Union Minister of State for Defence Sripad Naik on Thursday (15 August) said that he would “revive” the proposed project, for which the land acquisition has already been done.
The project was announced by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar in October 2016 and is proposed to be set up at Honda village in Sattari taluka of North Goa.
State-owned HAL and French company Safran had entered into a joint venture - Helicopter Engine MRO Private Limited - to set up the helicopter maintenance plant in Goa.
"The project was announced, but it is yet to take off. I will revive it. If there is any issue with the agreement with the France-based company, then we can have a tie-up with any other similar company after terminating the earlier commitment," Naik was quoted in the report as saying.
"The land required for the facility has already been procured and it needs to start immediately. I will have to go through the agreement," he added.
As per the plan, both the companies will invest a total of Rs 170 crore in the facility in a phased manner. The proposed facility will perform maintenance, repair and overhaul of engines that are fitted on HAL-designed and manufactured helicopters.
"The engines of advanced light helicopters of various versions, light combat helicopters and future light utility helicopters that are common between HAL and Safran will be maintained at this facility," he said.
As per the report, Indian Armed Forces, with a fleet of more than 1,000 engines including 250 TM333 and 250 Shakti, are one of the largest operators of the Safran-design helicopter engines.