Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Boeing Gives Rahul Gandhi a Spectacular Lesson into HAL’s Capability

We have come to a point in Indian politics where for those who are in the opposition – after putting the country through numerous tough times – do not feel even a bit of pinch before endangering its national security.

Recently, after having concocted the Rafale controversy and the whole story of why the deal should have been given to HAL and not Reliance, not out of love for HAL but for political gain, Congress President, attempted to meet HAL workers to politicize the whole issue and the organization itself.

Boeing Gives Rahul Gandhi a Spectacular Lesson into HAL's Capability #RafaleDeal #RahulGandhiWithHAL Click To Tweet

Although the company’s management said in a circular that engaging with political parties is a violation of employees’ code of conduct – which apparently the party which governed the country for over 60 years has forgotten or does not care for – the employees union deemed it an individual choice.  But the union General Secretary did say categorically that it will not share the stage with Rahul Gandhi.

“People can attend the event as it is their individual choice. We will not be sharing the stage with Rahul Gandhi at the event,” clarified Suryadevara Chandra Shekhar, General Secretary of HAL’s Employees Union.

Meanwhile, instigated by Rahul Gandhi, some of the employees are airing their ideological agendas.  Sirajuddin, a retired employees felt “hurt” at the HAL not getting the Rafale deal.

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“We are hurt and insulted by the decision to overlook HAL for the Rafale deal. We are not begging but based on merit, we deserved it,”

Here is the video of the interaction between some HAL employees – old mostly and some present.

However, after that meeting by Rahul Gandhi, HAL came out with the statement saying that it regretted how the organization was being politicized by some for their own gains.

“Today’s attempt at politicisation of the employees is a fad and regrettable development and will be detrimental to the interest of the organisation, its employees as well as national security,” the HAL official told PTI in the statement.

Now, we all know that like ISRO, HAL could also be a world class facility.  The problem has been that political interference has messed it up.  It capacity is obviously an issue, but so is its capability.

Boeing terminates contract with HAL due to “Poor Quality”

Boeing was to deliver war and commercial planes for Indian Navy.  But the shoddy quality of production by HAL has meant that Boeing has terminated the contract with HAL.  One is not sure what Rahul Gandhi was trying to portray, but it seems that top aviation companies like Boeing when given a choice do not want to go ahead with HAL because of its shoddy quality.

US defence major Boeing has terminated a contract with state-run Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for component supplies to the former’s war and commercial planes being inducted into the Indian Navy.

Boeing’s decision came after repeated reminders to HAL about its “poor quality” of production, sources said, adding that the US company’s move underlined the need for better strategies by India’s policymakers in order to bolster the order books of defence PSUs. (source)

And this is not the first time that HAL has been in news for bad quality of work and delays.

Remember that Advanced Light Helicopter’s 30 year delay?

Remember the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)?  The helicopter that was mooted in 1969.  But nothing was delivered well into the 1990s.  30 years of complete failure.  Here is the time line of what happened.

HAL

Point is not that people at HAL are bad or incompetent.  But with so much at stake, there are many interferences.  Specially political when buying high worth equipment from outside companies can be a lucrative deal for many middlemen.  But when the Indian war preparedness is on the line, as it was when Modi Government doubled down on getting the Rafale aircrafts, it is often necessary to go for what is critical and urgent.