DRDO Hopes to Synergise Competences in Indian R and D - The New Indian Express

DRDO Hopes to Synergise Competences in Indian R and D

Published: 10th April 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 10th April 2014 01:34 AM

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has said that the country should synergise the competences available to tide over the oft-repeated time and cost overrun concerns. DRDO Director-General (Aero) Dr K Tamilmani told Express in an interview that any Indian initiative would be supported so as to build a robust eco-system.

“If Indian R&D needs to be taken to the next level, we need the complete backing of private firms. We are making all efforts to make the private industry understand the complex nature of defence R&D. I’m confident that the private firms will be playing a lead role in some of the DRDO’s futuristic projects,” Tamilmani, a senior defence official, said. He said the DRDO has been following the flight path of a compressed development time frame synergising the competences in the private industry.

To a query on the unmanned aerial vehicle Rustom-II, he said currently the platform is undergoing initial taxing tests with the development flights likely to commence this year. “The entire certification process for its induction into the service should be over by 2018. Similarly, the Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft (EMB-145) is undergoing test flights and by the end of the year, we hope to have the first one inducted into the IAF,” he said.

On the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, which was accorded the Initial Operational Clearance recently, he said the current efforts are pointed towards increasing the production rate to 16 aircraft per year. “It will be a reality by 2016 and we are confident of achieving the same. The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has set-up a state-of-the-art facility for the series production to ensure faster rate of production,” he said.

According to him, the design phase for Tejas Mk-II programme has been completed, while the second prototype of naval LCA (NP2) is expected to fly before the end of the year. Saying that fund crunch has never been an issue for Indian R&D programmes, Tamilmani said: “Not a single project got delayed due to want of funds. With an increased allocation, we will be able to take up more programmes. It’s but natural that fund augmentation will definitely aid technology projects.”

When asked about a solution to overcome delays in defence R&D, he said it is essential to design the product for manufacturing. “We need to integrate the private industries to support the realisation of modules for the final product. We are marching towards this goal,” he said.

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