The first indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) will roll out by the end of this year and about 20 of the aircraft will be manufactured in three years’ time, Avinash Chander, who took over as scientific advisor to defence minister, has said.
Speaking at a function organised by FAPSIA to felicitate scientists here on Monday, Avinash Chander said efforts were being made to roll out the first indigenous LCA by the end of this year. Stressing the need for industries and government research organisations to work as consortium he said there was need for all the organisations to come together and work in coordination for greater success.
Expressing determination to increase the level of self-reliance, he said that India, from being the largest importer of weapon systems, should become the largest exporter of defence products. “This is possible if all the organisations work together. We have to bring all the top brains of the country on a single platform,” he said.
“In the next five years DRDO products will be worth Rs 2 lakh crore. Today we are manufacturing 150 Akash missiles per annum. The production will be stepped up to 2,000 missiles a year. There is lot of demand from other countries for Akash, LCA and other defence products,” said the man behind the development of Agni missiles.
“Instead of catching up with the technology we will soon start breaking the technology,’’ he said and added that the DRDO owed its success to all the industries which supported it in its mission.
Chief controller, R&D, and Agni programme director VG Sekaran said the MSME should be made part of the defence programme from the initial stage and should be encouraged to take up independent research. RCI director G Sateesh Reddy said industries should take up research so that the DRDO can concentrate on the core areas. He said around 200 SMEs were supplying critical components to the DRDO.
Housing minister N Uttam Kumar hailed the contribution of DRDO scientists towards nation-building and urged the scientists to develop indigenous technology. ASL director K Jayaraman was also felicitated on the occasion. Federation of AP Small Industries Association president J Nageshwar Rao presided over the function.