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HAL to manufacture passenger aircraft

KASARGOD, Kerala (BNS): The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is planning to manufacture a passenger aircraft, according to defence minister AK Antony. He said the plane was in the planning stage. The minister was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a new unit of HAL in northern Kerala.

The Strategic Electronics Manufacturing Facility at Seethangoli in Kasargod district is planned to come up in 200 acres of land would be the extension of the Hyderabad Division of HAL. It will undertake assembly, testing, manufacturing, repair and maintenance of all types of airborne computers and various other systems, an HAL statement said.

Antony said the facility would be ready in 18 months and would cater to the overall growth of north Kerala. "With HAL's arrival in Kerala, it would generate employment opportunity and also help economic upliftment of the people. The momentum to remove the backwardness of Kerala has begun," he said.

Stating that HAL has transformed itself as a global player, the defence minister said that HAL is currently in talks with Bolivia and Peru to sell the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. HAL has already sold seven ALHs to Ecuador.

HAL Chairman Ashok K Baweja said the work on producing the passenger aircraft was in the planning stage. On the Kasargod plant, Baweja said the location was "selected to set up the plant due to good connectivity."

The initial investment for the HAL plant is estimated to be approximately Rs 70 crore.

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