The company has proposed plans to add 72 more fighter jets to its current order of 272 and further strength the squadrons fleet of the air force.
Indian state-owned aerospace firm, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has recently pitched for an order to develop four additional squadrons of the Su-30 MKI jets in a bid to quickly meet demands in fighter squadron strength in the air force.
According to reports, HAL has already received orders for 272 jets and is keen to add 72 more jets to the current order. However, officials claim that the air force is not keen to buy more jets as it is low on funds. Although, HAL expects orders for 10 more jets in the coming days as it would help production at its Sukhoi manufacturing plant in Nasik from becoming idle.
As per R Madhavan, Chairman, HAL, the company can strengthen the 42 squadrons of the air force by developing more Light Combat Aircraft and the Su-30 MKI jets. However, if orders are not made this year will make a two-year gap before the production can restart as their firm has to order other parts and kits. He also claims that the vendor base will be out of business and the production after the delay will be costly and time consuming.
Sources cite that the Air Force is currently only looking to order 10-12 jets to cover up the accidental losses. Meanwhile, HAL’s current production cost of the jets made in Nasik is around 450 crore each and the company is worrying that if the orders are not placed this year the manufacturing plant may suffer a big loss.
For the record, HAL’s proposal, which is being discussed with the defense ministry, is to supply additional aircrafts at prices that are already being negotiated for prior orders by adding standard annual escalation.