PM Narendra Modi HAL helicopter factory Tumakuru Karnataka
HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes, with a total business of over ₹4 lakh crore over a period of 20 years.

PM Modi inaugurates HAL’s helicopter factory in Karnataka's Tumakuru

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (February 6) inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) helicopter factory in Karnataka’s Tumakuru, about 70 km from Bengaluru.

Speaking after the inauguration, Modi said that the investment in the aerospace sector in the last nine years is four to five times more than what it was in the 15-year period before 2014.

In his speech, Modi hit out at those spreading misinformation about HAL.

Also read: India’s Light Combat Helicopter inducted into IAF at Jodhpur

“Today, HAL’s helicopter factory stands as a testimony that has exposed the lies and misinformation spread about HAL,” he said.

Talking about ‘Made in India’ weapons and defence exports, Modi said, “Today, we are providing our army with Made in India weapons, and our defence exports have also increased manifold compared to 2014. In the last eight years, on the one hand, we have reformed and strengthened the government factory and defence works and, on the other hand, we have opened doors for the private sector.”

“The world is recognising the manufacturing strength of Karnataka and the double-engine government has ensured the State to become the first choice for investors. It is all evident through dedication of the helicopter factory here, today,” said Modi.

“This is a very special day for Tumakuru as it has got a very big helicopter factory and the foundation for an industrial town has also been laid. Also, the work to provide drinking water to hundreds of villages in the Tumakuru district has been initiated,” he added.

Also read: Several countries interested in buying Tejas fighter jet from India: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and senior officials of the Ministry of Defence were present on the occasion.

Factory to produce Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs)

The Greenfield Helicopter Factory, spread across 615 acres of land, is planned with a vision to become a one-stop solution for all helicopter requirements of the country. It is India’s largest helicopter manufacturing facility and will initially produce Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs), the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The foundation stone of the facility was laid by Modi in 2016.

The LUH is an indigenously designed and developed 3-ton class, single-engine multipurpose utility helicopter with unique features of high maneuverability. Initially, the factory will produce around 30 helicopters per year and can be enhanced to 60 and then 90 per year in a phased manner. The first LUH has been flight tested and is ready for unveiling.

The factory will be augmented to produce other helicopters such as Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMRHs). It will also be used for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of LCH, LUH, Civil Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and IMRH in the future. Potential exports of civil LUH will also be catered to from this factory.

HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonnes, with a total business of over ₹4 lakh crore over a period of 20 years.

Besides generating direct and indirect employment, the Tumakuru facility will boost the development of surrounding areas through its CSR activities with large-scale community centric programmes on which the company will spend substantial amounts. All this will result in improvement in the people’s lives in the region.

The proximity of the factory, with the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru, will boost the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the region and support skill and infrastructure development such as schools, colleges and residential areas. Medical and health care would also reach the community residing in the various nearby Panchayats, the ministry said.

With the establishment of facilities like Heli-Runway, Flight Hangar, Final Assembly Hangar, Structure Assembly Hangar, Air Traffic Control and various supporting service facilities, the factory is fully operational. This factory is being equipped with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques for its operations.

“This factory will enable India to meet its entire requirement of helicopters without import and giving much-needed fillip to the PM’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in helicopter design, development, and manufacture,” the ministry said.

Modi’s message to global investors

Earlier in the day, Modi urged global investors to explore investment opportunities in the country’s energy sector, saying India is the most opportune place at present.

Modi in his inaugural address at the India Energy Week (IEW) 2023 in Bengaluru, said the Budget (for 2023-34) has provided ₹10 lakh crore for capital expenditure, which will give a boost to green hydrogen, solar power and road sectors.

“I ask you to explore all opportunities connected with India’s energy sector. India is the most opportune place for investment today,” he said at the India Energy Week, which is being attended by several ministers, corporate leaders and experts from different nations.

Also read: A slew of ‘green’ and ‘clean energy’ initiatives in Union Budget 2023

The Prime Minister also recalled several initiatives taken by the government to promote green energy and make India net zero by 2070.

The budget 2023-24 has provided ₹35,000 crore to the petroleum and natural gas ministry for achieving the net-zero target.

India Energy Week 2023 is the first major event of G20 under India’s presidency, Modi noted.

Also read: Budget 2023 lays foundation for developed India: PM Modi

He further stated that crores of people have come out of poverty and entered the middle class due to government initiatives.

India has become the second-largest producer of mobile phones and the fourth-largest crude refiner in the world, the Prime Minister noted.

India, he said, is working on expanding its refining capacity from 250 MMTPA to 450 MMPTA.

He also informed that India’s gas pipeline network will expand to 35,000 km in the next four-five years from 22,000 km presently.

The government has reduced the no-go area for oil and gas exploration to 10 lakh square kilometres, which will unlock investment opportunities, Modi said.

On 20 per cent ethanol blending with petrol, he said India is moving towards achieving the target.

Solar cooktops launched today will give a new dimension to cooking in India, he said.

E20 fuel launched

Modi also launched E20 fuel at 84 retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies in 11 States/Union Territories along the lines of the ethanol blending roadmap.

He also flagged off the Green Mobility Rally where vehicles running on green energy sources will participate and help create public awareness for green fuels.

Being held from February 6-8, IEW is aimed to showcase India’s rising prowess as an energy transition powerhouse.

The event will bring together leaders from the traditional and non-traditional energy industry, governments, and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities that a responsible energy transition presents.

It will see the presence of more than 30 ministers from across the world. Over 30,000 delegates, 1,000 exhibitors and 500 speakers will gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities of India’s energy future.

During the programme, PM Modi will participate in a roundtable interaction with global oil and gas CEOs. He will also launch multiple initiatives in the field of green energy.

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