'Saras' to be fully operational by 2010: Official

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Bangalore, Feb 6 (UNI) 'Saras', India's first multi-purpose civilian aircraft in the light transport category designed by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) here, is expected to be fully operational by 2010.

Speaking to mediapersons here today Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) Director P S Subramanyam said that the testing Saras was underway and was progressing well.

Describing the SARAS project as significant the ADA chief said that more than 30 per cent of testing had been completed and the programme was 'moving as on schedule'.

The second prototype of the SARAS aircraft would be ready in two years now and the third and final one in 2010, he said.

The design of India's first multi-purpose civilian aircraft was taken up by NAL in 1991 collaboration with Russia. However Russia had dropped out early in the program due to financial constraints.

The project had almost came to a halt when it was hit by US imposed sanctions following India's second nuclear tests conducted at Pokhran in 1998.


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