The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT), a premier training establishment under the Southern Naval Command, is forging alliance with what it terms as ‘six indigenous elements’ as part of its ‘train the trainers’ programme to keep its instructors abreast of emerging aviation technologies and practices.
The institute, which doles out aviation technological training to officers and sailors of the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard besides pilots, observers and aircrew of friendly foreign navies on 11 different aircraft, is firming up ties with Air Force, Air India, Pawan Hans Limited, industries like defence PSUs and key private players, academic institutions like the IITs and the IISc, and DRDO’s aero-cluster labs to harness the latest technology and best practices in their fields in preparation of imminent inductions as also to meet the challenges posed by fleet obsolescence.
“As the Navy is on the verge of major transformation with the induction of fourth/fifth generation aircraft, it is vital that the institute prepares for tomorrow and keeps the training relevant to the challenges of fast-evolving aviation technologies,” Captain Deepak Bansal, Director of NIAT, explained to The Hindu the rationale behind the tie-ups. “It is also aimed at sharing training infrastructure so as to avoid wasteful replication of facilities,” he added.
The partnership with the Air Force was to assimilate the modus operandi adopted by the force to enhance its training and maintenance infrastructure, Captain Bansal said.
The alliance with national carrier Air India would be for a course on Boeing 737-NG aircraft ahead of the induction of Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft in the Navy. Meanwhile, Pawan Hans would extend training support for state-of-the-art helicopters, academic institutions would chip in with basic technology subjects, and DRDO’s aero laboratories would play a role in preparation of computer-based education programmes and training capsules on cutting edge aviation technologies, he said.
Tie-ups with emerging players in the aeronautical industry such as L&T, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL) and the Joint Ventures of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would be with a view to sharing and managing knowledge in aircraft maintenance, aeronautical science and aviation quality assurance standards, said the officer.
The institute has sought help from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, MiG-29s, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), and Boeing 737-NG in tapping in-house expertise to convert cat ‘E’ aero engines and airframes — the ones without any service life left due to expiry or irreparable snag — into simulators and emulators for training of personnel.