Nirmala Sitharaman's HAL defence exposes' crucial data

Details about aircraft sale rarely put in public domain.

Hyderabad: In a bid to justify her claim that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had received orders worth Rs 73,000 crore during the financial years 2014-18, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reportedly disclosed certain information regarding the aircraft that are to be inducted into the defence forces. Such details are rarely put in the public domain, sources said

On Sunday, Ms Sitharaman rebutted Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s claims that the government was depriving the state-run HAL of the Rafale deal to benefit industrialist Anil Ambani’s rookie defence firm.

In a series of tweets, the defence minister issued contract details assigned to the HAL, she said.

From the documents put in the public domain, it is learnt that the HAL has manufactured 83 products worth Rs 49,797.50 crore plus Rs 432 crore of two simulators for the Indian Air Force.

A contract worth Rs 2,911 crore which includes Rs 377.23 crore for infrastructure facilities for the Indian Army was given to the aircraft maker.

A deal to build Kamov Ka-226T (a twin-engine Russian utility helicopter) was issued to HAL’s joint venture company Indo-Russain Helicopter Ltd.

Some of the aircraft being manufactured for the Indian Air Force are Dornier Do-228 (14) worth Rs 1,090 crore, 10 helicopters, Rs 7,739 crore worth Advance Light Helicopters (ALHs) and FP engines, Ms Sitharaman said.

For the Army, the HAL was manufacturing 40 ALH costing Rs 5,968.49 crore, she said in her tweets.

In the last four years, the orders to build aircraft for the Navy were more than that for IAF and Army, according to details provided by Ms Sitharaman. She said the HAL was building 12 Dornier Do-228 aircrafts, 16 ALHs, eight Chetaks and another 16 ALH for the Coast Guard. These aircraft are to be inducted into the forces in phases up to 2021- 22.

“With such details put in the public domain, the enemy will get access to information regarding the kind of aircraft with the forces,” said a source.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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