Top aerospace brain bats for home-grown efforts to master future tech

By: OneIndia Defence Desk
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Alappuzha, Oct 03: India should rationalise and reduce the variety of military aircraft to two or three types, rather than operating multiple variants. The requirements must be met through Indian industries or through joint ventures with overseas partners.

Make in India' mission should be implemented through affirmative action and commitment of all concerned, including the research and development establishments, industries and the armed forces with a firm political directional leadership.

Aerospace: Top brain for Make in India

These are among the many aspects covered in a book titled -- Make in India, A Strategy for Partnership - authored by Dr CG Krishnadas Nair, leading aerospace brain in the country and former chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

Published by New Delhi-based Society for Aerospace Studies, the book bats for a meaningful and convincing role for Indian industries in all future aerospace and defence programmes.

Facilities for master modern technologies critical

In the segment that dwells upon the ‘Status of design know-how and way forward,' the book says that all future designs will be driven by considerations other than the conventional performance and stability.

Factors such as stealth, noise and emission regulations are assuming greater importance. Stealth technologies essentially involve reducing the radar cross-section and infra-red signature.

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Research in these areas is highly confidential and not much information is available in the public domain. There is a need for indigenous research effort for better understanding of the issues involved and to develop materials and techniques.

"Aero-elasticity and further aero-servo-elasticity are very important for a fly-by-wire controlled unstable configuration. Continued research, update of technology and availability of facilities are critical to take up advanced aircraft programmes," says the book.

Role of private industries as work-sharing partners

Backing the SMEs in India, the author wants aerospace PSUs to sub-contract to large private sector industries and SME consortiums, various systems and structural assemblies.

"They could be integrators into the main platforms namely aircraft, helicopter, engine and missile. To make such programmes successful aerospace PSUs must support SMEs by providing technology and documentation, tooling support, training and up to the first article manufacture and certification. It will also be desirable to provide required materials initially during the development and proving stage," says the book.

Move out of license production era

The author's expertise as the founder president of the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI) and leading HAL from the front, taking the challenges of the new millennium head-on, is evident all through the book.

"We have proven competence and the world's largest number of software engineers in IT services. We have a reasonably good market and a growing economy. It will be a win-win approach for India and our technology-cum-investment partners to undertake joint projects for the next generation aircraft, helicopters, UAVs and other associated equipment," says the book.

While dedicating the book for the synergetic growth of the industry through partnership, the author says that the Indian SMEs and large private sector industries have taken considerable initiatives in indigenous development of aerospace materials, components, equipment, structures and systems.

"We need to move from the conventional license production to joint design and development and production of domestic and global market. Continued dependence on license production can adversely affect indigenous design and development capability. We must consciously move out of the license production era," says the author.

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