Defence Minister A.K. Antony will inaugurate the strategic electronics factory of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at Seethangoli near here on November 17.

Mr. Antony would inaugurate the factory at 3.30 p.m., while Chief Minister Oommen Chandy would open the production facilities at the function to be held at the sprawling 200-acre land developed by the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA), District Collector P.S. Mohammed Sagir told reporters here on Thursday.

The first phase of the factory costing Rs.66-crore would have seven buildings for various activities such as production, administration, technical services, materials management, security, medical, and offices of government agencies such as Air Force and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), HAL spokesperson Gopal Sutar said.

The factory would take up production of airborne special purpose computers such as Mission Computer, Display Processor, Radar Computers, and Open Architect Mission Computer, he said.

In the phase II expansion, the factory would have manufacturing facility for avionics for medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) such as Automatic Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), Radar Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, Communication and Navigation equipment besides other indigenous projects such as Saoftnet Defined Radio and Interrogate Friend-Foe (IFF).

The facilities and expertise acquired at the factory for advanced avionics of MMRCA would be used for various upcoming projects such as Fifth Generatin Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA), Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Medium Lift Helicopter (MLH), and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), thereby drastically multiplying the manufacturing activities in the unit, he said.

At present, the company will have 80 personnel to man the production facilities. However, there would be requirement of skilled manpower after phase II expansion, he said adding that the area would be developed as a township in view of the future expansion programmes of the factory.

The formal commencement of the key defence unit, whose foundation was laid by Mr. Antony himself on August 23, 2008, is expected to put the district in the industrial map of the country.

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