MRF today launched its Aeromuscle tyre for Sukhoi 30 MKI’s main wheels. This feat made the Indian rubber to touch Indian runways through the wheels of Sukhoi, which is the mainstay combat aircraft of Indian Air Force (IAF). It relieved IAF from the hassles of procuring tyres from overseas, dealing with multiple suppliers and spending forex, Besides, it also helped in buying the tyres at about 35% less than the imported ones.

 

MRF Aeromuscle

MRF Aeromuscle

Kick started in 2008 the project was anchored by Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC), Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA),  Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) along with the Chennai headquartered MRF. The tyres are designed and engineered by MRF’s in-house R&D facility in Chennai and manufactured at its facility in Medak near Hyderabad. The company has invested in state-of-the-art equipments and machineries for manufacturing these high-end tyres since safety is paramount as each Sukhoi aircraft cost over Rs 430 crore.

The tyre manufacturer forayed into the defence segment as early as 2001 and it achieved a breakthrough in 2007 by launching its first aviation tyre for Chetak helicopter for the IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).  

Chairman and Managing Director of MRF, K M Mammen said, “More than the business aspects, our Aeromuscle tyres for Sukhoi re-emphasises our commitment to the nation to support its indigenisation initiatives. We will continue to take on these challenges.” He further said that, ” We are constantly engaged in the process of taking our products to the next level in line with our philosophy. Our R&D efforts are focused today on widening the usage and applicability of our tyres. It is a matter of pride for us that the Indian Air Force is inducting these Sukhoi 30 MKI tyres into their fleet.”

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Since Sukhoi is a heavier combat aircraft weighing about 35 tonne, Aeromuscle tyres had been tested for ground speeds of up to 420 kmph with loads in excess of 18 tonnes per tyre. Besides, these tyres were also subjected to various tests in India, before assessed by the dynamometer in China. After the dynamometer test the tyres were put to actual flight test at various air force stations by specialised test pilots of Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASET). Currently MRF is working on developing several tyres for various aircraft of IAF, Indian Navy and HAL. 

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