hindustan aeronautics limited has orders worth rs 64,000 crore, expects more in 6 months

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HAL, he said, was expecting more orders in the next 3-6 months which will ensure a comfortable order book position for the firm

BANGALORE: Dismissing claims of poor financial condition of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), its Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) R Madhavan said that the the public sector unit had an order book position of around Rs 64,000 crore.

“Though we definitely would prefer a better order book, it is not that bad,” he said, briefing media for the first time since he took charge in September this year, on Friday. The order book is for a period of four years.

HAL, he said, was expecting more orders in the next 3-6 months which will ensure a comfortable order book position for the firm. Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark 1 or Tejas Mark 1 was one of the biggest orders HAL was looking at with supply of the aircraft expected to begin in 2021.

Apart from it, HAL is also expected to pickup the production of Light Combat Helicopters, with an initial order of 15 followed by larger numbers. The PSU also had a running order of manufacturing Sukhoi Su-30 engines along with repair and overhaul of various aircraft of the Indian Air Force, he said.

In locations such as Nashik, where the Su-30 aircraft production line ends next year, HAL will use the facility to produce more LCAs. With the introduction of new production lines, HAL can increase its production from eight LCAs per year to 20, he said. One more production line will be outsourced to four private firms, he added.

To a question, he said that HAL was yet to receive pending dues to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore from various armed forces and a majority of it was from the Air Force. There are issues with the defence budget and payment will be completed as soon as more allocation is done for the Air Force, he said.

HAL, he said, had recorded sales of Rs 18,200 crore last year with Rs 4,000 crore receivable for services offered to IAF. The company had a cash balance of Rs. 6,000 crore during the June quarter, which had reduced to Rs 1,000 crore by September. Meanwhile, the PSU received Rs 2,000 crore of the dues from IAF. “We have been a debt-free company and are quite strong on our finances,” he said.

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