HAL signs ToT with CSIR-NAL for BMI Engine Bay Door for series production of LCA-Tejas Mk1A

Tejas Mk1A is an indigenous 4.5 generation, all-weather and multi-role fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.


Published Nov 09, 2023 | 1:12 PM Updated Nov 09, 2023 | 1:12 PM

LCA Tejas. (Wikimedia Commons)

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) signed a Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement with CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) on Wednesday, 8 November, for the manufacturing of BMI Engine Bay Door for the series production of LCA Tejas Mk1A.

Tejas Mk1A is an indigenous 4.5 generation, all-weather and multi-role fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

Transfer of technology agreement signed

HAL had requested for transfer of technology for the BMI Engine Bay Door, and the ToT agreement has been reached between it and HAL, CSIR-NAL said.

“With the signing of the technology transfer for the BMI Engine Bay Door, HAL can directly produce these high temperature-resistant composite parts for the series production of LCA Mk1A aircraft, meeting the initial requirement of IAF squadrons,” it added.

Continuing with the indigenous development, for the first time in the country, CSIR-NAL said that it has developed manufacturing process technology of High-Temperature Resistant Co-cured Composite Structures using Carbon-BMI Prepreg for the engine bay door that can withstand the service temperature of about 200 C.

The processing of Carbon-BMI is very tricky because the resin becomes very thin as viscosity reaches 8-10 centipoises at higher temperatures, it said. Hence, retaining the resin within the laminate is a major challenge.

During the process, it emits volatiles and moisture while curing, it further said, adding therefore that proper venting is necessary during the curing of these resins; otherwise, it may cause process-related defects such as voids and delaminations.

CSIR-NAL developed critical technologies

Noting that over the last three decades, CSIR-NAL has developed many critical technologies for the LCA Tejas and continues to support this major national programme, NAL said that its Advanced Composites Division (ACD) has pioneered the design and development of composite structures using innovative and cost-effective manufacturing technologies including co-curing/co-bonding constructions.

The laboratory has played a pivotal role in the development of the composite parts for LCA-Tejas, which include Fin & Rudder, Wing Spars, Wing Fuselage Fairings, Fairings blocks, Centre Fuselage parts & Under carriage doors, it said.

The innovative technologies developed by CSIR-NAL not only reduces the cost but also improves the structural efficiency by minimising the number of mechanical joints, it said, adding that the innovations have resulted in more than 20 percent cost savings and 25 percent weight reduction in the parts of the LCA-Tejas.

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