The Defence Ministry inked a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Friday for the procurement of six Dornier-228 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a cost of Rs 667 crore, according to an official statement issued by the ministry.
The IAF used the aircraft for Route Transport Roles and communication duties. As a result, it has also been used to train IAF transport pilots, as per the statement.
According to the statement, the current batch of six aircraft will be outfitted with a more fuel-efficient engine and a five-bladed composite propeller.
The aircraft is ideal for short-haul operations from the North East’s semi-prepared/short runways and India’s island chains. The arrival of the six aircraft will strengthen the IAF’s operating capability in remote areas, the statement said.
The 19-seat HAL – DO – 228 aircraft is a multi-purpose light transport aircraft. It was specifically designed to satisfy the diverse needs of utility and commuter transport, third-level services and air-taxi operations, coast guard responsibilities, and marine surveillance.
Last week, a new variant of an aircraft made by India’s Government-run defense-aerospace firm HAL received approval for carrying out commercial flights for civilians.
HAL reported that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India had approved their upgraded aircraft. The aircraft, known as the ‘Hindustan 228-201 LW,’ is a modified variant of the Dornier-228 that HAL has been licence-producing in India. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have used the Dornier-228 for short-range maritime patrol and surveillance.
According to HAL, the DGCA-approved model has a maximum take-off weight of 5695kgs and a seating capacity of 19 passengers. With this modification, the aircraft would be classified as a Sub-5700 kilogramme aircraft. According to HAL, the variant provides operational benefits for operators such as decreased pilot qualification requirements, allowing pilots with a Commercial Pilot License to fly the aircraft, increased availability of the aircraft’s pilot pool, and lower operational costs.