HAL’s jets costlier than foreign ones, says defence ministry audit

HAL’s jets costlier than foreign ones, says defence ministry audit
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New Delhi, Oct 19: Fighter jets made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – the Bengaluru-based defence public sector unit – cost more than the same jets produced abroad by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), a recent review of the state-owned company by the ministry of defence (MoD) has found.
The department of defence production is studying the document, said an officer aware of the development who did not want to be identified.
Su-30MKI – the mainstay fighters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) which is manufactured by HAL under licence from Russia – is about Rs 150 crore costlier than the ones made in Russia, according to the document, a copy of which has been reviewed by Hindustan Times.
“The aircraft produced at HAL comes at a significantly higher cost when compared to direct purchase from the OEM,” the document added.
A Su-30MKI made in Russia cost Rs 269.77 crore whereas one made by HAL in India costs Rs 417.69 crore, almost “Rs 150 crore” more per aircraft, the review said.
Similarly, there is a huge cost difference between the cost of the Hawk trainer aircraft manufactured by British Aerospace and those made HAL.
After long and torturous negotiations, India bought British made Hawk jets to train pilots in 2004. Of the initial 62 Hawk jets, 24 were to be bought in a fly-away condition and the remaining were to be manufactured under licence by HAL.