It can go on surveillance for 36 hours, says Kota Hairnarayana

Work on assembling Rustom II, long range unmanned aerial vehicle is going on now. It can go on surveillance for 36 hours as against Rustom I that can go flying for eight to 10 hours, Dr Kota Harinarayana, architect of India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Dr D S Kothari DRDO Chair at Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore, has said.

Delivering the Dr. V. Bhujanga Rao Endowment Lecture on “Technology, aviation and national security” at GITAM University here on Thursday, he said without technological advances in aviation and air power superiority it was difficult to become an economic or military power. Successive wars since 1991 Iraq invasion had shown that air strikes proved decisive. Even in the Kargil war, precision-guided bombing by aircraft had played a major role, he said. “Stealth technology had become quite crucial in which the difference between life and death is 20 seconds depending upon who sees first,” he said.

The lecture was organised by GITAM University and Condition Monitoring Society of India (CMSI).

Dwelling on the success of LCA, he said it was the outcome of 300 industries, 40 R&D institutes and 120 academic institutes and took 15 years for development and it got the first operational clearance. Technological and organisational innovation led to the development of the lethal, survivable, supportable and versatile LCA, Dr. Harinarayana said. NSTL and BHPV also played a key role in providing the input, he said.

Stressing the importance of integrated vehicle health management system (VHMS), he said it was extremely crucial as maintenance cost had turned out to be 10 times that of acquisition and around 30 per cent of the cost of operation.

Dr. Harinaryana said IVHM should be a national programme with academic institutes, R&D and industry coming together and wanted GITAM to be a part of it.

Distinguished Scientist and Director General Naval Systems V. Bhujanga Rao lauded the efforts of Dr. Harinarayana in developing LCA and said it would cost Rs.120 crore to make and Rs.200 crore if imported. CMSI was founded 10 years ago and it was crucial for any assets including dams and heritage buildings. It could ultimately lead to monitoring fifth generation aircraft onboard, online. GITAM University Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanayam said the university had entered into an MoU with Karnataka government to set up Central Research Laboratory at its Bangalore campus. Its scientific activity centre had 18 patents, including two by its students.

GITAM Engineering College Principal K. Lakshmi Prasad, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering V. Srinivas, senior faculty M R S Satyanarayana and Ram Turaga, and CMSI general secretary and NSTL scientist P.V.S. Ganesh Kumar participated.

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