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HAL loses 100 employees to COVID-19, LCA and LCH projects affected

The defence public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been badly hit by the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of at least 100 of its employees, infected 4,000 others, and affected crucial defence projects, like the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).  

HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan said, “Once deliveries happen, maybe the sales will recover. Man-hours lost have to be recovered through extra effort. We were affected badly as a large number of employees were infected. But, the long-term project performance of Light Combat Aircraft will not be affected as they will have enough time to recover and meet the timelines.” 

He also said that the production for the last two months has remained slow, despite employees were constantly working. The reason was that the supply of the materials coming from vendors was not going on smoothly as expected. The international flights were disrupted, as a result, the supply of materials from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) abroad too got affected. 

The fallout of this disruption are, four LCAs that are ready are yet to be handed over to the Indian Air Force, the Dornier aircraft project has been hit as the material is not coming from Line Replacement Units, and the LCH orders from the Centre have been delayed.  

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