Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
State-owned enterprise
Traded as
IndustryAerospace and Defence
Founded1940; 79 years ago (1940)
(As Hindustan Aircraft)
1964; 55 years ago (1964)
(Renamed Hindustan Aeronautics)
Key people
R Madhavan, (Chairman and Managing director)[2]
ProductsTransport aircraft
Fighter aircraft
RevenueIncrease (US$2.5 billion)[3] (2016/17)
Increase (US$480 million)[3] (2016/17)
Increase (US$390 million)[4]
(US$9.2 billion)[4]
(US$2.2 billion)[4]
Number of employees
(March 2014)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company headquartered in Bangalore, India. It is governed under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence.

The government-owned corporation is primarily involved in the operations of the aerospace and is currently involved in the design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, helicopters and their spare parts. It has several facilities spread across India including Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kasaragod. The HAL HF-24 Marut fighter-bomber was the first fighter aircraft made in India.


Production line of the HAL Dhruv at Bangalore

HAL was established as Hindustan Aircraft Limited in Bangalore on 23 December 1940 by Walchand Hirachand who became Chairman of the company. The companies 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, who had already established Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) in partnership with Chinese Nationalist government. 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 lakhs 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[5] 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 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.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was formed on 1 October 1964 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.[6] 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.[7] On 1 April 2015, HAL reconstituted its Board with Mr. TS Raju as CMD, Mr. S Subrahmanyan as Director (Operations), Mr. VM Chamola as Director (HR), CA Ramana Rao as Director (Finance) and Mr. D K Venkatesh as Director (Engineering & R&D). There are two Govt. nominees in the Board and six independent Directors.

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 2018-19, at a rate of 16 jets per year.[8]


One of the largest aerospace companies in Asia, HAL has annual turnover of over US$2 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 agreements

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

Domestic agreements

Indigenous products

HAL 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.

Agricultural aircraft

Fighter aircraft



GTX-35VS Kaveri prototype testing

Trainer aircraft

Observation and reconnaissance aircraft

Saras, developed by HAL and National Aerospace Laboratories

Transport and passenger aircraft

Utility aircraft

HAL-26 Pushpak


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

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Licensed production

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "Hindustan Aeronautics Limited - Profile". Zoominfo.com. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "Shri R Madhavan - Leadership". Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  3. ^ a b "HAL Financial 2016/17".
  4. ^ a b c d "HAL Financial 2015" (PDF). Archived from the original on 6 February 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Hindustan Aircraft Ltd" Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine Flight 27 August 1954 p. 296.
  6. ^ HAL Preserved Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Flight International 1964
  7. ^ "HAL slipping up on deliveries as it handles too many projects." Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine The Hindu Business Line, 3 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Narendra Modi powers-up HAL's indigenisation drive, India's military may get 100 planes, 1,000 helicopters soon". The Financial Express. 26 March 2017. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "In Brief - Russia's next-generation warplane scheduled for maiden flight in 2009 | NEWS | The Moscow News". Mnweekly.ru. 22 January 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "Asia Times Online :: South Asia news - India takes aim at next level of defense". Atimes.com. 5 December 2007. Archived from the original on 21 March 2017. Retrieved 2010.
  11. ^ Boeing to export up to $1 billion in work to India |TheNewsTribune.com |Tacoma, WA[dead link]
  12. ^ "Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Ilyushin start work on multi-role transport aircraft". domain-b.com. 4 April 2008. Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  13. ^ "India Signs Contract For $964M MiG-29 Upgrade". Aviation Week. 10 March 2008. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "HAL to make 1,000 Honeywell engines". The Financial Express. 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 26 July 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  15. ^ "HAL to make new generation Dornier aircraft". Archived from the original on 29 January 2009.
  16. ^ "National : HAL bags $150-million Airbus order". The Hindu. 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  17. ^ "Israel News : Israel outsources $100-mn composites for UAVs to India". Israelenews.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  18. ^ "Honeywell opens $65m R&D facility in Bangalore". Pacetoday.com.au. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 2010.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Hindustan Aeronautics gets $50.7 mln helicopter contract from Ecuador air force". Forbes.com. 26 June 2008. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  20. ^ "HAL to have maintenance base in Ecuador - The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 7 September 2008. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ "TajaNews". TajaNews. Retrieved 2010.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "HAL secures order for ambulance version of ALH Dhruv from Peru". domain-b.com. 24 June 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  23. ^ "HAL bags $20 million contract for supply of three Dhruv helicopters to Turkey". domain-b.com. 12 August 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  24. ^ "HAL bags $10 mn order for Chetak, Cheetah from Namibia". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  25. ^ PTI (1 March 2009). "India signs pact for supply of Dhruv helicopters to Mauritius". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010.
  26. ^ PTI (2 April 2008). "'India, Israel developing unmanned helicopter' -Gulf-World-The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010.
  27. ^ "India to construct new aerospace hub". Itexaminer.com. 16 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  28. ^ "HAL to upgrade Indian Jaguar fleet". Flightglobal.com. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  29. ^ PTI (16 August 2007). "Hindustan Aeronautics to set up pilot training school-India Business-Business-The Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  30. ^ AFP: India awards Russia billion dollar MiG-29 upgrade Archived 18 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ ECONOMICTIMES.COM (14 December 2015). "Boost for 'Make in India': HAL's 25 kN aero engine completes inaugural run; can be used for trainer aircraft - The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  32. ^ Our Bureau. "A long way to go for HAL's new aircraft engine". The Hindu Business Line. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016.
  33. ^ "Parrikar: 68 basic trainer aircraft to come from HAL, 38 from Pilatus". The Indian Express. 1 March 2015. Archived from the original on 1 March 2015.
  34. ^ "HAL-built HTT-40's first flight successful". www.oneindia.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ "Project to develop unmanned variant of Tejas planes in works - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 21 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ "History of IAF". Indian Air Force. 11 November 2017. Archived from status the original Check |url= value (help) on 9 April 2009.

External links

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