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HAL, GE Aviation Sign Contract for Supply of Forgings

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and MIDHANI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Aero India 2021 for development and production of composite raw materials. This is the first time that such an MoU has been signed for composite raw materials.

The MoU was signed by HAL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) R Madhavan and MIDHANI Chairman and Managing Director Dr S K Jha in the presence of other senior officials. R Madhavan said composites are one area where HAL will collaborate. Composites raw materials, mainly in the form of Prepregs used in platforms like LCA, ALH, LCH and LUH are currently imported.

Commenting on the joining hands with HAL, MIDHANI Chairman and Managing Director Dr S K Jha said that it is a major step forward in the area of composite materials.

“HAL is not only taking care of frontline aircraft production but also raw materials,” said MIDHANI Chairman and Managing Director Dr S K Jha.

Indigenous programmes

There is no equivalent proven Indian approved/qualified supplier for various types of Prepregs (Carbon, Aramid, Glass types etc.) for the Aircraft applications. This creates dependency on foreign OEMs, which is likely to continue in future indigenous programmes. Aligned with “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative, efforts need to be made to develop and manufacture such Prepregs in India through collaboration.

The usage of composites in the Aerospace is going to exist and increase, particularly for fighter Aircrafts/Helicopter because of its inherent advantages over metallic raw materials. 

In addition, similar requirement exists for other Aerospace and Defense programs including those of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

Ring forgings

HAL also signed a contract with GE Aviation for development and supply of ring forgings for GE Aviation military and commercial engine programs.

The five-year contract valued over Rs 100 crores ($ 15 Million), involves supplying both steel and nickel alloy forgings for shrouds, cases, rings and seals. GE Aviation Global Sourcing Strategy Senior Director Chandrashekhar Yavarna handed over the contract document to HAL Foundry Forge Division Executive Director M S Venkatesh.

With this contract award, GE Aviation has initiated the development of a raw material supply chain in India as part of its “Make in India” and “AatmaNirbhar Bharat” strategy. The award of contract followed HAL’s successful bidding in GE’s Global request for quotes (RFQ).

The ring forgings will be manufactured at HAL’s newly established, state-of-the-art ring rolling facility at the Company’s Foundry and Forge Division in Bengaluru. The division has, after a rigorous audit process, obtained GE Aviation approvals for its quality system and special processes.

HAL Bangalore Complex Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Bhatt said Foundry & Forge Division of HAL, Bangalore Complex is supplying Ring forgings for defense and civil aerospace requirements for the last 3 decades.

Engine requirements

“Current contact from GE Aviation for their Global Aero-engine requirements is a reaffirmation of HAL’s capabilities in the field of Ring Forging manufacturing and is a significant step forward in country’s efforts in becoming a major player in global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) supply chain,” said Amitabh Bhatt.

GE Aviation Executive Forging Sourcing Vince Kinman said the company is pleased to enter this agreement with HAL for these critical forgings.

“HAL’s investment in developing this capability and their new facility positions them as a world-class supplier, and we look forward to continuing strong partnership and joint success with HAL,” said Vince Kinman.

HAL’s foundry and forge division in Bangalore specializes in manufacturing of seamless rolled rings in aluminum, nickel & titanium alloys and various grades of steel for civil and military aero-engines and space applications.  

Photo caption: Mr Chandrashekhar Yavarna, Senior Director, Global Sourcing Strategy, GE Aviation handing over the contract document to Mr M S Venkatesh, Executive Director, Foundry Forge Division in the presence of Mr M S Velpari, Director (Ops), HAL and other officials. 

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