Indranil wrote:With respect to aviation, TASL has not shown any design capability, or even intent. They are doing a stellar job of manufacturing to blue-print. Mahindra and Bharat forge have shown a lot of design-intent.
With respect Indranil, I think you're approaching the other extreme of the argument. Its true that most of TASL's business has come from manufacturing to print, but that is an outcome of their circumstances. Within their constraints they've done as well as can be expected to absord technology and they have
made a very concerted effort to indigenize manufacturing of subsystems even where they had no contractual obligations in the matter.
Fact is, TASL like its fellow pvt sector companies have a genuine business case for indigenizing defence production, while PSUs (incl. HAL) tend to function as govt depts rather than autonomous commercial entities - exemplified by their pathetic export record (despite its fundamental cost advantages).
Of course that doesn't mean that the core design competencies of organisations like HAL & DRDO built up over decades can be sidelined but the likes of TASL deserve to have the playing field leveled, and production contracts are an ideal beginning even if it is as a sister facility to HAL.
Personally, I find the Dhruv the biggest disappointment in the indigenization effort - HAL having successfully developed a world-class helicopter settled into its comfort zone (where going by comments here, a significant chunk of BRF also resides) with its dominant position in the domestic market. In the LUH's case, even the domestic market will be shared with a foreign competitor - Ka-226 (again with a section of BRF cheering it on). Whatever the company's weaknesses, I'm confident that if TASL were involved with the IMRH, they'd at least make a serious attempt to fight for the global market dominated by Mil, Sikorsky & AgWd.
That being said, on the engine front, perhaps Bharat Forge is a better bet. The industry as a whole lags the West by decades, being a fragmented mess doesn't help. Maybe a quadrilateral JV would work - Tata, Kalyani, HAL & GTRE (worked for CFM & IAE albeit at a much larger scale).