State-owned defence and aerospace firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has handed over Dornier 228 (DO-228) aircraft to Seychelles. Seychelles and HAL had signed a contract for two aircraft in February last year, and latter had promised to deliver those by 2014.
HAL manufactures DO-228 aircraft under licence agreement with the erstwhile Dornier GmbH of Germany at its Transport Aircraft Division in Kanpur. The maritime surveillance aircraft will be used to guard the extensive coast line of island nation, the company said.
“The aircraft to be provided to Seychelles will be supported by HAL team for maintenance on site to enable the new user get the requisite expertise. It is equipped with the latest facilities and is excellent platform of maritime applications,” said R K Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.
DO-228 is a 19-seater versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft which has been developed to meet the requirements such as utility and commuter transport, air-taxi operations, coast guard duties and maritime surveillance.
HAL has so far manufactured a total of 117 Dornier DO-228 aircraft which are in operation by defence forces including the Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force.
In 2013-14, HAL is planning to make DO-228s for Air Force, Navy and DRDO. The company has also bagged contracts for 10 aircraft from countries like South Africa, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Philippines and Thailand. HAL is also looking at the civilian export markets for these aircraft.