Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic. The virus has claimed the lives of at least 100 of the company's employees and infected at least 4,000 others, reported The New Indian Express.
As a result, crucial defence projects, like the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), have been affected. There are over 450 vendors involved in the LCA project directly impacted due to the disruption in activities. The PSU has been plagued with problems.
In the financial year 2020-21, it secured the largest-ever defence contract of 83 LCA MK-IA. However, in the first two months of the first quarter of 2021-22, around ₹1,200 crore worth of revenue from sales was lost as HAL failed to deliver products as planned because of pandemic-induced disturbances.
HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan told The New Indian Express, "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 our employees were infected." But, he said the long-term project performance of LCA will not be affected as they will have enough time to recover and meet the timelines.
He added that production activity has been less for the past two months. He pointed out that the supply chain had to get back in shape quickly. Besides the supply chain, Madhavan said that the supply of raw material from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from within and outside the country had to be restored. He stated that the company will be able to meet the goals once these two conditions are met. He mentioned that the team is not expecting the disruptions to continue beyond July.