In a major firepower boost, India launches largest indigenous helicopter factory
TUMAKURU – Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated country’s largest helicopter factory – the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – in the southwestern state of Karnataka.
The facility in Tumakuru district has capacity to produce more than 1,000 helicopters that would strengthen the country’s defence. The development comes after Indian announced double-digit increase in a latest defence push last week.
The factory, spread across 615 acres for which Modi laid the foundation stone in 2016, would initially manufacture Light Utility Helicopters (LUH), the Indian media reported.
India is one of the largest arms importers in the world and, even with its recent push towards local defence production, still relies heavily on hardware from Moscow, its largest and oldest military supplier.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, he said the helicopter factory fulfilled the government’s promise to reduce dependence on foreign countries for its defence needs. He said modern weapons, including rifles, tanks, aircraft carriers and others were now being produced in India.
The factory in southern Karnataka state was unveiled months after Indian inaugurated its locally made attack helicopters that can be used in high-altitude areas.
India also rolled out its first locally made aircraft carrier in September 2022 in a bid to counter China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean region.