Friday, March 14, 2014

HAL and NAL Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) Draws US Industry Interest?

The Indian AEW&CS project is based on the Embraer EMB-145 regional jet

HAL and NAL, who have been hallucinating about developing planning to develop a 70-100 Seat Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) since at least 2008, have claimed in a HAL press release that captains of American industry have shown interest in the project at the India Aviation show at Hyderabad (March 12-16) and are ready to collaborate on the project.

The assertion is surprising since in the past, speculation has centered on a RTA developed in collaboration with Canadian Bombardier or Brazil's Embraer. (Why Bombardier or Embraer would help HAL become a competitor in the limited market is anybody's guess.)

Technically, Bombardier is an American company, so maybe there is no reason to be surprised. More so since Boeing doesn't make RTAs.

Anyway, HAL and NAL propose to setup a joint venture with initial funding of Rs 20 crore to produce the RTA. The project has government backing despite serious doubts about the viability of a RTA in the Indian commercial aviation sector.

If the Indian RTA ever rolls out of a HAL manufacturing plant, it's likely to be lapped up only by Air India not any private airline;  with politics, not profits, as the imperative. And if the grossly mismanaged Air India ceases to exist by the time the HAL-NAL RTA rolls out, there is always IAF to dump the aircraft on.

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