Staff Reporter

The percentage of imported components to come down in coming years

IAF exclusive squadron Tejas to be stationed at Sulur, near Coimbatore

COIMBATORE: The aviation industry in India will have skilled manpower requirement to the tune of many thousands in aircraft engineering and maintenance in the coming years, P.S. Subramaniam, Programme Director, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore, said here on Saturday.

Workshop

Speaking at a workshop on “Multi-Disciplinary Aspects in the Design and Development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)”, organised under the aegis of the ADA at Park College of Engineering and Tekhnology, he said the potential in the Defence sector alone would be very high.

Elaborating on the topic, Mr. Subramaniam said that the project of the ADA to design and develop the LCA that was taken up in 1993 with an investment of Rs. 5,500 crore from the Government had reached the production stage.

“This happened after 15 years since the design and development of an aircraft is a long drawn process involving several agencies”.

The first test flight of the aircraft was successfully conducted in January 2001. To begin with, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited would produce eight aircraft a year, Mr. Subramaniam said.

He said Indian Air Force (IAF) would create an exclusive squadron of 20 LCAs named Tejas that would be stationed at Air Force Station, Sulur, near Coimbatore. The IAF would start inducting these aircraft from 2010, according to him.

Import

He said that 70 per cent of the components in the LCA were indigenously made and the rest were imported from the U.S. and Europe. “The percentage of imported components used will be progressively reduced in the coming years.”

For Navy

“Apart from the LCA, the ADA is involved in design and development of another version of the LCA suitable for use by the Indian Navy. The prototype will be produced in 2009,” he added.

Aeronautic experts deliberated on topics like flight testing, fighter aircraft design, aerodynamics, flight control system, airworthiness certification, airframe design, etc.

P.V. Ravi, Chairman of Park Educational Institutions, Anusha Mahesh, Chief Executive Officer of the college and G. Mohan Kumar, principal, spoke.

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