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HAL to issue RFP for regional aircraft engines
Tuesday July 15, 2014 6:14 PM, IANS

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) would soon issue a request for proposal (RFP) to procure aero-engines for its civil regional aircraft programme, a top official said Tuesday.

"As 11 bidders had responded to our request for information (RFI) for the 70-90-seater civil aircraft engine, the RFP will be issued soon to procure the engines, as the aircraft will be manufactured in India, with an expected roll-out by 2022," HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi said in a statement from London.

HAL is partnering with the state-run National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in the civil aircraft programme for expanding regional transportation on feeder routes across the country.

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) is being formed with NAL to build the first ‘Made in India’ regional civil aircraft by 2020-22 through the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

HAL plans to involve about 100 vendors from the Indian aerospace industry in manufacturing the regional transport aircraft (RTA).

HAL’s aero engine research and design centre issued the RFI in December seeking cost and technical details of a fuel-efficient aero engine to power the proposed twin-engine regional aircraft.

Meanwhile, British firms have expressed interest in partnering with HAL to manufacture the regional aircraft for the burgeoning Indian civil aviation sector.

“UK Trade and Investment director Carole Sweeney assured us that most of the British firm were interested to partner in the RTA with us,” Tyagi said after a business meeting with her at the week-long Farnborough international air show being held in London since Monday.

“British firms are keen to play a critical role in the RTA programme with their expertise and skills if given an opportunity,” Sweeney said on the occasion.

Representatives of British firms such as ADS Group, Aircraft Research Association, Cobham, Cranfield University, Meggitt, Rolls Royce, Stirling Dynamics and Ultra Controls were also present at the meeting.

“We plan to roll out about 400 aircraft to serve the needs of feeder airlines as we have 450 airstrips across the country for air travel,” HAL’s design and development director T. Suvarna Raju said after the meeting.

The previous UPA government had sanctioned Rs.20 crore for a feasibility study to design and develop the aircraft to fly on feeder and trunk routes across the country.

The state-run Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituted a 15-member high-power committee in May 2011 under the chairmanship of former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair to launch the national civil aircraft development project.

The design and development of the prototype is estimated to cost about Rs.5,000 crore (Rs.50 billion) and is expected to be ready in five-six years for flight trials.

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