The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification is pushing for a one-stop facility where it can allow domestic industries supplying components for military aircraft, among others, to test their wares for qualification.
Such a single infrastructure can vastly improve the time taken to complete critical defence projects and also spur indigenous industrial production, according to K. Tamilmani, DRDO’s Director-General for R&D in Aeronautics.
He heads over a dozen of DRDO’s aeronautical labs including CEMILAC, most of them based in Bangalore.
The facility, estimated to cost over Rs. 300 crore in the first phase and possibly to be set up with partners, is being discussed with the Department of Defence Production.
Aeronautical testing is scattered across the country in various public sector companies and labs.
Currently the 300-plus small and mid-sized private industries that supply hundreds of items for military aviation cannot afford to create them on their premises and must wait several months for their turn to do repeated tests at the government centres.
Setting up an Integrated Aeronautical Test Facility could save them the running around between different testing centres, the time and the cost needed to produce items to stringent military specifications, Dr. Tamilmani told The Hindu.
“Indian industry’s potential to contribute to aeronautical development is yet to be fully tapped,” “We also place much premium on indigenous production for the armed forces. Such a platform will help to get more local industries into our military production programmes.”
The facility would help the many new and large military aircraft programmes that are due to come up, he said.