Well HAL has all the characteristics of a government department, even though it's an SOE.
Oh sweet summer child (GoT reference). If you think HAL is "like a government department", wait till you hear about the shenannigans of the infamous Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). In front of the likes of OFB, HAL appears like a saint. Though it ain't.
The point is that the IAF are sick of the continual delays, cost overruns, and mediocre performance of HAL designed capabilities. It's negatively impacting upon their operational capability.
Yes HAL QC issues are a pain in the a$$, especially when it comes to engines
. There is a line I once saw written at an Indian Air Force station: "Poor maintenance is murder". Doesn't seem like HAL adheres to it strictly. And there have been programs like HJT Sitara which are FUBAR to the point of needing a redesign causing a decade's worth of delay. But its not like HAL is without positives either like LCH, LUH, HTT-40, HTSE-1200, HTFE-25, etc; along with the parts HAL supplies for India's space program. And most of these being recent programs hints at improvements in HAL's work culture maybe. But compare that to OFB and finding the positives of OFB is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
How profitable is HAL? Is it actually profitable at all? Profit and loss are just one metric. Efficiency, reliable products, on time delivery at the contracted cost, capabilities that are at the least comparable to ones enemies best capabilities, are what should be designed and provided by the company. That it isn't doing.
HAL is a profitable enterprise, but that could be largely due to it having a monopoly in Indian Aerospace. The recent defence reforms seem to have broken that monopoly. This is what has me excited about the future of Indian Defence Industry. Now these PSUs (not just HAL but almost all the PSUs) need to compete for contracts from the military and civilians. Although there is still some work left in regards to leveling the playing ground between private and public enterprises in India.
Lion's share of QC issues relating to HAL have to do with either MiG-21 or engines. Remove these two and the rest of HAL QC is satisfactory in most cases. Sticking to deadlines is something HAL does seem to struggle with at times. The capability of its products though, especially compared to China, aren't bad at all. And when I say "its products", I don't mean everything they manufacture but the products that they themselves design and manufacture.
Now compare that with what the OFB does and whatever you said about HAL applies on OFB 10 times over. Point is, in the Indian parlance, HAL is much better than a government department. I realize I am playing the devil's advocate here, but I am happy with the current direction of defence sector reforms. Scope for improvement is always there though. But lets see if HAL continues to be profitable 10-15 years from now. If it doesn't reform itself, it might get sold off next decade.
It's had decades to sort all of this out and India isn't short on the talent or institutes of higher learning. If the Chinese achieved what they have done in their military aviation field, why hasn't India? Yes the Chinese cheated, but India has had the advantage that India have access to western educational, scientific, engineering and aviation facilities since 1947 and whilst India has struggled with domestic social problems, as well as external problems from the start, it has made staggering progress since. Unfortunately HAL smothered that.
I am not going to pretend that HAL's monopoly has been good for Indian aerospace sector, it hasn't. Its a small part of what ailed Indian economy as a whole since Independence: License Raj. Indian economic growth has only lifted off after economic reforms started in early 1990s. Those reforms didn't spread in aerospace sector until very recently. But comparing Indian and Chinese aerospace industries is an apples to oranges comparison. It cannot be answered without going outside the scope of this thread and delving into geopolitics, domestic politics, global and local economic policies and trends, demographics, etc. So lets refrain from off-topic for now.
You better read all the context before you jumping on answering. Sandhi comment on Indian (not just HAL) decision to order 99 GE404 (as video from Indian media). When India should decide to used GE404 long time ago, rather than waiting for indigenous engine/Kaveri program (which until now still not progressing enough).
Maybe I am being thick, but I still don't understand it. I did read the context (though could have misunderstood it). If he is talking about Indian decision to de-link Kaveri program from Tejas, then that decision occurred back in 2008. What is there to suggest that "India" was waiting for Kaveri program to succeed after that? The decision to order the 99 GE-404 this year simply follows the larger Tejas Mk1A order which also got placed this year. Where is the delay?
Do you have source that confirm it's only USD 280 Mio (better be official government sources) that being 'poured' on Kaveri ? Because I read also from Indian forums, which Indian members claim different numbers. Better read the forum rules where if you claim something has to be based on credible sources.
Ofcourse. Here is the official source: https://cag.gov.in/webroot/uploads/...liance_Defence_Air_Force_and_Navy_16_2010.pdf
Pardon me for a lose currency conversion.
You can't also compare how much GE pouring on developing GE404 in early 70's cause it is not Apple to Apple with what an Indian Government Research Institution pouring to developing Kaveri much later on. The accounting calculation will be different for one thing, and USD to USD value comparison is much different between what US and India (different Purchasing Power scale) spend.
Agreed. Catch-up growth is always faster. GE didn't have nearly the same kind of CFD and FEA toolkit that GTRE had its disposal, thanks to advancements in computational mechanics and computers themselves. I am merely pointing out the fact that developing an engine equivalent to GE-404 can't be done on the peanuts that GTRE's budget is. Maybe I chose the wrong example, should have chosen the Chinese one instead.