HAL for modernisation of IAF Avro fleet

Report & Photo(s): By SP's Special Correspondent August 19, 2013

While an request for proposal (RFP) on the replacement of 59 HS748 Avro transports is currently under evaluation by potential vendors, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has announced that it is looking to propose a life-extension of the current IAF fleet with an engine replacement, among other systems.

According to the August 15 request for information (RFI) released by HAL, "Currently there are 59 HS748 aircraft in service with our operators. Due to low utilisation rate (average 350 hours/year) majority of aircraft have technical residual life around 80,000 hours. Owing to the good health of the airframe and considerable residual life, replacement of Rolls Royce Dart Engine with modern fuel efficient engines on these 59 HS 784 aircraft is being planned." HAL has stipulated that it requires a response by September 30 this year, though it is likely that this deadline will be extended. In March this year, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) released an RFP for the replacement of 56 Avros: 16 aircraft in flyaway condition by the selected global vendor, and the remaining 40 built in India under a partnership with an Indian company.