Bengaluru: HAL and MIDHANI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the ongoing Aero India 2021 on Thursday for the development and production of composite raw materials. This is the first time that such an MoU has been signed for composite raw materials.
The MoU has been signed by HAL's Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) R Madhavan and MIDHANI's CMD Dr SK Jha in the presence of other senior officials. R Madhavan said composites are one area where HAL will collaborate. Composites raw materials, mainly in the form of prepregs used in platforms like LCA, ALH, LCH and LUH are currently imported.
Jha said that this is the major step forward in the area of composite materials. HAL is not only taking care of frontline aircraft production but also raw materials.
There is no equivalent proven Indian approved or qualified supplier for various types of prepregs (Carbon, Aramid, Glass types etc.) for the aircraft applications. This creates a dependency on foreign OEMs, which is likely to continue in future indigenous programs. Aligned with the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiative, efforts need to be made to develop and manufacture such Prepregs in India through collaboration.
The usage of composites in aerospace is going to exist and increase, particularly for fighter aircraft or helicopter because of its inherent advantages over metallic raw materials. In addition, similar requirement exists for other aerospace and efence programs including those of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).
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