Updated: February 6, 2013 02:33 IST

Deliver IJT by 2015, Antony tells HAL

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Defence Minister A.K. Antony with a model of an aircraft given to him during the seminar in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo : K . Bhagya Prakash
The Hindu
Defence Minister A.K. Antony with a model of an aircraft given to him during the seminar in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo : K . Bhagya Prakash

Chides developing agencies for delay in readying LCA Tejas

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday set 2015 as the deadline for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. to deliver the intermediate jet trainer (IJT) to the Air Force. “Please speed up your processes. Please get the IJT ready by next Aero India,” he said, inaugurating the ninth Aero India seminar here.

HAL began the IJT programme in 1999.

(According to HAL Chairman R.K. Tyagi, the IJT is being readied for initial operational certification in 2013-14.)

Mr. Antony also chided the developing agencies for the delay in readying Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

The LCA, 25 years in the making, is yet to receive its final operational clearance, though a limited series batch is being produced. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is a partner in the LCA and other military programmes.

Not happy with delay

Mr. Antony noted that the DRDO, which earlier received only brickbats, now got some bouquets, including some Padma awards for its scientists this year. “It’s a mixed bag. We are proud, but I am not fully happy, the Tejas delay is not a happy thing,” he said. However, he was happy on another count. “I’m happier than last year,” he said, pointing at the 100-odd engineering students seated. “All students are inside [the auditorium]” and he was not worried any more about the future of the country.

To industry, he cautioned, “Don’t expect the country’s main manufacturing strengths — cheap labour and cheap natural resources — to last forever, especially low wages. Give the working class its due.” The private sector was miserly in investing in R&D and could well chip in some more “if you want to keep up the momentum of growth,” Mr. Antony said.

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DRDO has delivered a wide range of arsenal to the country, as a boost
in the arm. Starting from Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Nag to the latest
Shourya and Sagarika the list is very long on the missile technology
front. MBT Arjun and Tejas are also definitely world-class. MBT Arjun
beat the Russian T-90 hands down and Tejas was spoken very highly even
in F-16 forums and is truly a 4th generation fighter aircraft.

To be fair and balanced in views, these technologies have evolved
quite long periods of time and we cannot wish away that fact. Our
Defense Minister has rightfully pointed out the same. But to say that
DRDO's record is abysmal, as an earlier reader had mentioned, is
really silly. Mixing facts and fiction is not a good thing in our
nation's context.
Also, there appears to be a very strong anti-DRDO, pro-Western arms
lobby trying to put down all the achievements of DRDO from time to
time. Our learned citizens should be able to separate wheat from the
chaff and not fall for the trap.

from:  Ramki
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 16:42 IST

Private sector, call any name , wants projects which will yield high profit, with easy technology or technology given in a silver plate to them, No design engg effort , No Manufacturing Engg effort, bought out tooling , no automation investment, fast time to market no development , low investment -aircraft business is totally opposite to these anywhere in the world. The aircraft primes take lot of riosks and put in high development, engineering , innovation. IP. it is alongway for Private sector which can only buy and sell now

from:  harihara
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 16:41 IST

DRDO and Indian defense sector's record of delivering operational weapons systems is abysmal. India continues to purchase billions of $ weapons systems every year from foreign manufacturers. These deals come with so called technology transfer but we don't see any meaningful outcome of such technology transfer if India continues to depend of foreigners for its armaments. What is the point of ToT if DRDO and Indian defense industries fail to make use of the ToT, either no meanful technology is being transferred or Indian companies are poor in absorbing advanced technologies. How come Indian private industries such as Tata or Reliance or Mahindra are not more heavily involved in developing advanced weapons systems! Govt needs to provide incentives for private companies to help develop modern weapons systems, just saying private companies are 'miserly' don't help anyone.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 09:48 IST
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