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  1. 1


    Thrre points standout from this article. (1) ALH is optimised for high altitude operations, not naval sea level operations. This design philosophy stands whatever be the version now available. (2) HAL’s request for diluting the NSQR appears to be a plea for special treatment. The Navy, as a fighting service and as a client spending taxpayer monies should get a product fit for purpose; not become an employment creating department of the GOI. Finally (3) If HAL has been lackadaisical, as was the original charge by Admiral Prakash and an exhibit no. 1 of bad manufacturing practices as per Cmdr Marathe, then nothing I have read so far has given me comfort that there is a recognition of those criticisms. Without the acceptance of criticism from the client, how can there be an effort to overcome those shortcomings? I despair for HAL and the Indian Navy.

    1. 1.1


      I guess ur understanding of aircraft design is limited . There is no such thing as a design philosophy being restrictive .. There are so many platforms which are being used in different areas .. It’s about synchronising each aspect to requirements .
      Next you say NSQR being , few requirements are just not necessary in there and few requirements HAL is totally ready to meet if allowed to participate , lately HAL was not even allowed. In india except HAL no company can promise to supply without foreign help . HAL is still growing itself in design and development cause scope of R&D is not supported in India . Yes we have to nurture . We can invite all indian agencies to develop their platforms from designing phase . Cause if one purchases already developed platform what u do is just copy paste .. No learning’s at all . And you send ur complete defence budget to sustain that. You say HAL has not made significant design changes , that’s cause NAVY has never made significant order . for design and development from start . a significant order is must . Atleast allow HAL to participate in the bid . One fact probably not related . Ppl loath HAL for their delays in LCA , but after FOC taken by ADA which is a separate agency , HAL is making all deliveries before time .
      Next you say which I also agree that there is bad practices of manufactiring and customer service in HAL , but HAL is taking steps to address the issues for sure ( I have been very close observant ) . however , I would advocate for ministries to motivate other industries also to design and develop their own platforms . which will give India more indigenous options other than HAL.

  2. 2

    Richard Fernandes

    There is no doubt on HAL’s capabilities or competency. What I am bringing out is to focus on customer requirement and having worked with commercial Aerospace company this is one thing I have learnt to focus on customer satisfaction whether it is internal or external and asking HAL to inculcate the same rather than justifying internal issues.

  3. 3


    Sir, your knowledge about Naval Helicopter operations is appalling. Please refrain from posting such baseless articles based on Army and Airforce requirements and your vast experience in that field. Ofcourse, being a HAL employee your loyalties are towards HAL but please don’t put the interest of a Nation and combat potential of a force down and climb up your ladder of loyalty. It is a humble request please don’t blunt the knife to accomodate its sheath.

    1. 3.1


      You are doubting integrity of an ex officer of Indian airforce , just cause you agree with something else . Shameful . You may not agree with him but atleast don’t say that he is trying to protect his own interest than country’s. Counter him with ur knowledge and facts of naval helicopters, if you have that ..

  4. 4


    So if its such an awesome machine, why doesnt anyone outside India touch it with a barge poll. This gentleman is HALs uncle Tom Navy guy

  5. 5


    If ALH was designed and built optimised for Army and Air Force roles and operational requirements then why was it pushed to Navy in the first place where the operating environment itself is different. Is this because HAL could not think of designing (albeit with foreign design houses) a naval helicopter from scratch instead wanted to try their luck everywhere … from civilian transport, VVIP, Army, Air Force, Navy you name it – one size fits all. Tax-payers money needs no accountability it seems!

  6. 6


    With all due regards to your professional qualifications and flying experience, I would just like to comment that the Naval Ship design NSQRs were indeed base on ALH for a substantial number of projects, however HAL could not meet the blade folding requirements for the ALH which resulted in design alterations in the Aviation facilities of the ships. If I may comment, how many technicians in RWRDC really understand the critical requirement of ship borne operations? Helicopter facilities onboard war ships is a small puzzle of a big design, therefore, we can not expect the Navy to undertake endlessly design modifications to ships. Unlike the ground based helicopter operations, the onus of complete shipborne operations which includes the maintenance and movement of the aircraft rests with a very limited crew. ALH is not a comfortable and ergonomic design for ship borne operations. At no stage I am doubting the efforts that have been made by HAL to improve the helicopter to its current Avtar. The 16 ALH project is not for shipborne operations and has been recommended with minor modifications to the current MK III design.

  7. 7


    Rome was not built in a day agreed. In todays warfare preparedness with possible 2 strike future wars from China and Pakistan Indian Navy preparedness is key to India security. By allowing SP model u have ready made solution high technology , endurance requirements etc. Agreed it may cost more. Lets talk about cost overrun during development and opportunity cost , cost of Security risk for wait to get new technology. Compare it with ready available solution ; time bound Make in India deliveries ; and compulsion to foreign OEM to offer complete Rotor technology including MGB transmission solution for make in India. By such strategic decisions India will graduate to manufacture next generation high technology reliable efficient flying machines and develop a ground for internal competition with Hal and SP MODEL Partner company a win win situation for India , thus becoming NET EXPORTER OF SUCH HIGH QUALITY FLYING MACHINES WHICH WILL BE ACCEPTABLE GLOBALLY BY INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS DUE TO FOREIGN COLLABORATIONS. ULTIMATELY IT IS ALSO A Business proposition India must become globally acceptable high quality eqipment supplier???

  8. 8

    R Sukumaran

    Well written Anil. Clears the air. A balanced non negative perspective. If we do not buy Indian no one else will.

  9. 9

    Abhimanyu R

    In Shiv’s defence, this is possibly the LEAST sensational coverage by media standards (it may be a poor reflection on the media but it’s a compliment to LF) that can be expected, given the high stakes involved. He has merely stated what Adm Prakash has said ON THE RECORD and judging by HAL’s slightly immature backlash, calling it a spat in the headline is an understatement!

    Many of Wg Cdr Bhambhani’s comments are indeed worth noting and it would be interesting if Cdr Marathe or someone else could give point by point rebuttals/responses so that a clearer picture of the truth emerges over several back and forth discussions. The advantage a platform like LF has is that it isn’t a 30 mins TV shouting match where everyone has to make their case in 2 mins – one can dive deep into the issue. Civilian citizens both in their capacity as patriots and taxpayers would certainly like to get a clearer view beyond the banal stated positions of either party and this forum is ideal.

  10. 10


    From what I understand, all HAL is asking is for change only on one parameter, AUW. 0.75t is not a big deal on ships, they are not rockets. As long as it does work qualify in all other parameters (including range and endurance), what’s the big deal?

  11. 11


    A simple question. How many customers ( not MoD, MHA or State Govts) have bought the civil version of your product? Any foreign customers ( gifting does nt count) ? If the numbers are miniscule or a zero, does nt that imply that HAL’s product still has a long way to go before if competes with other manufacturers? Our adverseries will have the best, should nt we too? And there are no runners up in war, am sure you ve heard that. So while you, the TPs do your best and more, it is ultimately the manufacturer, HAL, who isnt delivering. And the why, am sure you know more than most of us. If the IN isnt happy with your product, lets not use the MoD to thrust it down their throat, like the 16 enroute. The IN has done it’s bit, perhaps HAL needs to walk the talk. So when HAL has atleast a few civil orders, hopefully from foreign countries, that’s the day they can scream rebuttles from roof tops. Until then, it would be best for HAL to remain silent and let the ‘silent service’ deliver on its mandate with the aircraft that they want.

  12. 12

    Rustom Jamasji

    I think the problem lies elsewhere but within HAL
    The AFs when they criticize HAL, do not want to criticize, the design , engineering or the Testing Team of HAL.

    The Grouse lies in 2 others facets.
    A) Top HAL hierarchy which compromises of mainly Babus who think the AFs are inferior n need to do as they are told.
    These top heavy babus r neither interested in addressing challenges. The challenges are addressed by the engineers, Test Pilots, Design dept.
    The top heavies are interested in being close to Pol circles, Red light cars, and being yes men to the MoD and one-up on the AFs. They do not know, and want to know the whys of what the AFs are saying. The brunt is then borne by the facet of HAL that works, n would have better synergy with the AFs had they been involved in decision making

    Grouse Facet 2)
    The workforce which is unionised, lethargic with an attitude of ” To kya hua”.
    An aircraft having a part with a different serial no than on the certification is a definitely a no no n inexcusable.
    Let not the Test pilots n all those that brilliantly toil at HAL try n justify the unjustifiable done either by the lethargic unionised workforce nor the top heavy babudom whose only aim is ” March / year ending” books .

    Instead the AFs n the facet that toils in HAL should come together to address deficiencies in the top n lower rung of HAL and wherever within the AFs.

    While the messengers are shooting each other, once again,like everytime, the lethargic babu in the top hierarchy n the unionised work force go scott free

  13. 13


    Some of the comments posted seem like they were posted by foreign PR firms. It’s time to build in India, we can’t hope to be a regional power(forget super) unless we can meet our own defence needs.

  14. 14


    HAL just needs the money , that’s why wants to be a part of every contract . If they want to play in a level playing field there is no need to bend rules for them. They will compete when they a create a Product worth buying.


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