DRDO chief wants augmented production lines in HAL, BDL

Hit by the guided and unguided ‘missiles’ often fired by the media, services and the government for not delivering products on time, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Dr V K Saraswat asked Indian aerospace industries to adopt today’s science to absorb tomorrow’s technology. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the International Conference and Exhibition on the Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA), organised by the Aeronautical Society of India, Hyderabad Chapter, at the sprawling Taramati Baradari, near Golconda Fort. Citing examples of the recent hiccups in the LR-SAM (Long Range-Surface to Air Missile) and MR-SAM (Medium Range-Surface to Air Missile) programmes, Dr Saraswat asked the defence fraternity to share their strengths. “We ran into problems with propulsion system, especially in areas of combustion and stability of LR-SAM and MR-SAM, being jointly developed with Israeli Aerospace Industries. Understanding these technologies and development of the propulsion systems can be done in a better way, if the academic institutions, private industries, space agencies, DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and others join hands,” he said. Not mincing any words on HAL, the DRDO said the company must augment the production facilities for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) — Tejas. “Today, HAL has 3rd generation production lines and we need modern ones to replace it. Tejas is a 4th generation aircraft and if we have the vision of exporting this aircraft one day, then rolling out quality aircraft is the key. The problems faced  by Tejas are all related to auxiliary systems, be it the fuels lines or lightening arrester. Tejas Mk-II will be the future mainstay and we need to address quality concerns at the earliest,” Dr Saraswat said. Next on the DRDO chief’s radar was Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), which is the workhorse production centre for various missiles in India. “Even BDL must upgrade missile integration facilities. We have `30,000 crore of Akash missile production. We are expecting more orders. One BDL is just not enough to meet our demands,” he said. With a total missile production order worth around `90,000 crore, the DRDO chief said the Indian defence sector can’t keep quiet. “We need to change and raise the level of performance. We cannot continue in the same manner. We should not treat private industry as outsiders; instead we should bring them together,” he said. He said new programmes worth `80,000 crore are under various stages of development in the DRDO, including underwater systems, Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), Anti-Radiation Missile and Ballistic Missile (BMD). “As a nation, we need more patterns in design. We need an agency that take everything at one go. Today, we have a poor design base with us and we need to look at it seriously. There are many gaps in engine technology, including in the field of materials. We don’t have a facility to test, evaluate and integrate engines. If this tendency continues, we will continue to import engines,” Dr Saraswat said.

Source: Indian Express 

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