Hindustan Aeronautics Limited


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company, headquartered in Bangalore, India. Established on 23 December 1940, HAL is one of the oldest and largest aerospace and defence manufacturers in the world today.[7] HAL began aircraft manufacturing as early as 1942 with licensed production of Harlow PC-5, Curtiss P-36 Hawk and Vultee A-31 Vengeance for the Indian Air Force.[7] HAL currently has 11 dedicated Research and development (R&D) centers and 21 manufacturing divisions under 4 production units spread across India.[7] HAL is managed by a Board of Directors appointed by the President of India through the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.[8] HAL is currently involved in designing and manufacturing of fighter jets, helicopters, jet engine and marine gas turbine engine, avionics, software development, spares supply, overhauling and upgrading of Indian military aircraft.[9]

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
TypePublic Sector Undertaking
  • 22 December 1940; 82 years ago (1940-12-22)
    (as Hindustan Aircraft)
  • 1964; 59 years ago (1964)
    (Hindustan Aeronautics)
Key people
R. Madhavan
(Chairperson & MD)
RevenueIncrease24,620 crore (US$3.1 billion) (2022) [2]
Increase3,644.98 crore (US$460 million) (2022)[2]
Increase5,084.87 crore (US$640 million) (2022)[2]
Total assetsIncrease53,120.49 crore (US$6.7 billion) (2020)[3]
Total equityIncrease85,000.12 crore (US$11 billion) (2022)[2]
OwnerGovernment of India (75.15%) [4][5]
Number of employees
28,345 (April 2019)[6]

The HAL HF-24 Marut fighter-bomber was the first indigenous fighter aircraft made in India.


Workers check new fuel tanks during World War II

HAL was established as Hindustan Aircraft Limited in Bangalore on 23 December 1940 by Walchand Hirachand in association with the then Kingdom of Mysore.[10] Walchand Hirachand became chairman of the company. The company's office was opened at a bungalow called "Eventide" on Domlur Road.

The organisation and equipment for the factory at Bangalore was set up by William D. Pawley of the Intercontinental Aircraft Corporation of New York. Pawley obtained a large number of machine-tools and equipment from the United States.

The Indian Government bought a one-third stake in the company and by April 1941 by investing ₹25 lakh as it believed this to be a strategic imperative. The decision by the government was primarily motivated to boost British military hardware supplies in Asia to counter the increasing threat posed by Imperial Japan during Second World War. The Kingdom of Mysore supplied two directors, Air Marshal John Higgins was resident director. The first aircraft built was a Harlow PC-5[11] On 2 April 1942, the government announced that the company had been nationalised when it had bought out the stakes of Seth Walchand Hirachand and other promoters so that it could act freely. The Mysore Kingdom refused to sell its stake in the company but yielded the management control over to the British Indian Government.

In 1943 the Bangalore factory was handed over to the United States Army Air Forces but still using Hindustan Aircraft management. The factory expanded rapidly and became the centre for major overhaul and repair of American aircraft and was known as the 84th Air Depot. The first aircraft to be overhauled was a Consolidated PBY Catalina followed by every type of aircraft operated in India and Burma. When returned to Indian control two years later the factory had become one of the largest overhaul and repair organisations in the East. In the post war reorganisation the company built railway carriages as an interim activity.

IJT prototype in its hangar

After India gained independence in 1947, the management of the company was passed over to the Government of India.

The total number of broad- gauge coaches manufactured by the Hindustan Aircraft Limited during the year 1954 is 158. [12]

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was formed on 1 October 1964 (the Registrar of Companies has a registration date of 16 August 1963)[13] when Hindustan Aircraft Limited joined the consortium formed in June by the IAF Aircraft Manufacturing Depot, Kanpur (at the time manufacturing HS748 under licence) and the group recently set up to manufacture MiG-21 under licence, with its new factories planned in Koraput, Nasik and Hyderabad.[14] Though HAL was not used actively for developing newer models of fighter jets, except for the HF-24 Marut, the company has played a crucial role in modernisation of the Indian Air Force. In 1957 company started manufacturing Bristol Siddeley Orpheus jet engines under licence at new factory located in Bangalore.

During the 1980s, HAL's operations saw a rapid increase which resulted in the development of new indigenous aircraft such as the HAL Tejas and HAL Dhruv. HAL also developed an advanced version of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, known as MiG-21 Bison, which increased its life-span by more than 20 years. HAL has also obtained several multimillion-dollar contracts from leading international aerospace firms such as Airbus, Boeing and Honeywell to manufacture aircraft spare parts and engines.

By 2012, HAL was reportedly bogged down in the details of production and has been slipping on its schedules.[15] On 1 April 2015, HAL reconstituted its Board with TS Raju as CMD, S Subrahmanyan as Director (Operations), VM Chamola as Director (HR), CA Ramana Rao as Director (Finance) and D K Venkatesh as Director (Engineering & R&D). There are two government nominees in the board and six independent directors.

Light Combat Helicopter induction into the Indian Army

In March 2017, HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju announced that the company had finalised plans for an indigenisation drive. The company plans to produce nearly 1, 000 military helicopters, including Kamov 226, LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter), and over 100 planes over the next 10 years. HAL will manufacture the Kamov 226T helicopter under a joint venture agreement with Russian defence manufacturers. The Kamov 226T will replace the country's fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. Over the next 5 years, HAL will carry out major upgrade of almost the entire fighter fleet of Indian Air Force including Su-30MKI, Jaguars, Mirage and Hawk jets to make them "more lethal". The company will also deliver 123 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft to the IAF from 2018 to 2019, at a rate of 16 jets per year.[16] LCH production will now take place in a newly built Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in HAL Complex.[17]

In view of Make in India policy and to increase the share of defence exports to achieve the target of $5 billion by 2025, HAL is planning to setup logistic bases in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam with priority target for Southeast Asia, West Asia and North African markets. It would not only help to promote HAL products but also act as service centre for Soviet/Russian origin equipment.[18]


One of the largest aerospace companies in Asia, HAL has annual turnover of over US$3 billion. More than 40% of HAL's revenues come from international deals to manufacture aircraft engines, spare parts, and other aircraft materials. A partial list of major operations undertaken by HAL includes the following:

International agreementsEdit

HAL Dhruv helicopters of the Ecuadorian Air Force in 2009 Aero India
An IAF BAe Hawk being licence-produced at the HAL Hawk production facility in Bangalore
  • US$1 billion contract to manufacture aircraft parts for Boeing.[19]
  • 120 RD-33MK turbofan engines to be manufactured for MiG-29K by HAL for US$250 million.[20]
  • Contract to manufacture 1,000 Honeywell TPE331 aircraft engines for Honeywell worth US$200,000 each (estimates put total value of deal at US$200 million).[21]
  • US$120 million deal to manufacture Dornier 228 for RUAG of Switzerland.[22]
  • Manufacture of aircraft parts for Airbus SAS worth US$150 million.[23]
  • US$100 million contract to export composite materials to Israel Aerospace Industries.[24]
  • US$65 million joint-research facility with Honeywell and planned production of Honeywell TPE331 engines.[25]
  • US$50.7 million contract to supply Advanced Light Helicopter to Ecuadorian Air Force.[26] HAL will also open a maintenance base in the country.[27]
  • US$30 million contract to supply avionics for Malaysian Su-30MKM.[28]
  • US$20 million contract to supply ambulance version of HAL Dhruv to Peru.[29]
  • Contract of 3 HAL Dhruv helicopters for Turkey worth US$20 million.[30]
  • US$10 million order from Namibia for HAL Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.[31]
  • Supply of HAL Dhruv helicopters to Mauritius' National Police in a deal worth US$7 million.[32]
  • Unmanned helicopter development project with Israel Aerospace Industries.[33]
  • US$15 million contract for supplying steel and nickel alloy forgings to GE Aviation for its global military and commercial engine programmes.[34]

Domestic agreementsEdit

Indigenous productsEdit

HAL Tejas

Over the years, HAL has designed and developed several platforms like the HF-24 Marut,[39] the Dhruv,[40] the LUH,[41] and the LCH.[42] HAL also manufactures indigenous products with technology transferred from the DRDO, in association with Bharat Electronics for its avionics and Indian Ordnance Factories for the on-board weapons systems and ammunition.

HAL supplies ISRO, the integrated L-40 stages for GSLV Mk II, propellant tanks, feed lines of PSLV, GSLV MKII and GSLV MKIII launch vehicles and structures of various satellites.[43]

Agricultural aircraftEdit

Fighter aircraftEdit

HF-24 Marut
  • HF-24 Marut — (retired) Mk.1 and Mk.1T (200+ built)
  • HAL HF-73 — (cancelled)
  • HAL Ajeet — (retired) a derivative of the British Folland Gnat, 89 built
  • Tejas — Mk.1 (40 in service), Mk.1A (83 on order).
  • Tejas MK2 (MWF)[44] — 4.5+ generation Medium weight fighter (under development) 2023 first flight expected.
  • TEDBF — Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter is 4.5+ generation fighter for Indian Navy's aircraft carriers (under development)[45]
  • AMCA — Mk.1> 5+ th generation stealth fighter (under development), Mk.2> 6th generation stealth fighter(it will operate in CATS {combat air teaming system}, a UCAV in the swarm will be equipped with a direct energy weapon).

Trainer aircraftEdit

HAL-26 Pushpak
HJT-16 Kiran
  • HT-2 — First company design to enter production.
  • HAL-26 Pushpak — Basic trainer, based on Aeronca Chief
  • HPT-32 Deepak — Basic trainer in service for more than three decades.
  • HJT-16 Kiran — Mk1, Mk1A and Mk2 - Turbojet trainers scheduled to be replaced with HJT-36 Sitara.[46]
  • HTT-34 — Turboprop version of HPT-32 Deepak
  • HTT-35 — Proposed replacement for HPT-32 basic trainer in the early 1990s; not pursued
  • HJT-36 Sitara — Intermediate jet trainer (under development)
  • HTT-40 — Basic trainer (in production)[47] first prototype flew its first flight on 31 May 2016.[48] (106 ordered)
  • HJT 39 / CAT — Advanced jet trainer (proposal)

Passenger, transport and utility aircraftEdit

Saras, under joint development with National Aerospace Laboratories
  • Saras — of 14-19 seater capacity multi-purpose civilian light transport aircraft jointly developed with NAL.
  • Indian Regional Jet (IRJ) — (under development) of 70-100 seater capacity regional airliner to be jointly developed with NAL.


HAL Dhruv of Indian Coast Guard
Rudra armed helicopter
IAF Prachand
  • Dhruv — (in production) Advanced light helicopter (350+ built)
  • Rudra — (in production) Armed and reconnaissance version of Dhruv (90+ built)
  • Prachand — (in production) Light attack helicopter (10+ built)
  • Light Utility Helicopter — (in limited series production) Light utility helicopter
  • Indian Multi-role Helicopter — (under development) medium multi-role helicopter

Observation and reconnaissance aircraftEdit

Unmanned Aerial VehiclesEdit


  • G-1 — HAL's first original design, dating from 1941. Only one was built.
  • RG-1 Rohini
  • Ardhra — training glider


GTX-35VS Kaveri prototype testing

Licensed productionEdit

HAL Ajeet F.1
HAL made Su-30MKI

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit

  • Official website
  • Ready to roll: HAL offers its light combat helicopter to Indian Air Force