MoD signs ₹2,890-crore contract with HAL for midlife upgrade of Dornier aircraft

The upgrade is likely to generate employment of 1.8 lakh man-days during its execution span of 6.5 years

March 15, 2024 08:53 pm | Updated March 16, 2024 03:30 am IST - New Delhi

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Dornier aircrafts. File.

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Dornier aircrafts. File. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on March 15 signed a contract worth ₹2,890 crore with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the midlife upgrade of 25 Dornier patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy.

“The midlife upgrade for Dornier aircraft includes an upgrade to incorporate state-of-the art avionics systems and primary role sensors. The upgrade would significantly enhance the operational capability of the Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy to perform primary roles of maritime surveillance, coastal surveillance, electronic intelligence and development of maritime domain awareness,” a Ministry statement said.

In addition, this upgrade will also enable the aircraft to carry out secondary roles of search and rescue, casualty evacuation and communication linking.

The upgrade is likely to generate an employment of 1.8 lakh man-days during its execution span of 6.5 years, the statement said, adding that the upgrade entails sourcing of major systems and equipment from indigenous sources.

On Wednesday, the MoD had signed a contract ₹8,073 crore with HAL for the acquisition of 34 Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) MkIII — 25 for the Army and nine for the Coast Guard.

Following the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the MoD signed two contracts for a combined value of ₹8,073.17 crore with HAL on March 13 for the acquisition of 34 ALH-MkIII along with operational role equipment.

The ALH-MkIII UT (Utility), the Indian Army version, is designed for search and rescue, troop transportation, internal cargo movement and casualty evacuation. The Ministry said, “It has proved its performance in high altitude regions like the Siachen Glacier and Ladakh.”

The ALH-MkIII MR (Maritime Role), for the Coast Guard, is designed for maritime surveillance and interdiction, search and rescue, rappelling operations and also for cargo and personnel transportation, pollution response using external cargo carrying capability and medical casualty evacuation.

According to the MoD, the project will generate employment of an estimated 190 lakh man-hours during its duration and also entail supply of equipment from more than 200 micro, small and medium enterprises, while 70 local vendors will be involved in the indigenisation process.

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