|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
'Greater synergy between IAF, industry required'
February 05, 2007 14:36 IST
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi on Monday called for greater synergy between the Indian Air Force and industry and research organisations to ensure that the airspace superiority of the country was not compromised.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day international seminar on Aerospace Technologies held as part of Aero India 2007 in Bangalore, the air chief said, "Though there is an interaction with user agencies by DRDO and industry today, there is scope for greater synergy with IAF by these bodies."
"Even the civil aviation (in public and private) sector dismisses IAF as fauji without realising the importance of the air force," he lamented.
Pointing out to Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister M Natarajan's remarks earlier on need of higher allocation of funds, ACM Tyagi said, "Let the IAF do the critical review of the funds to be deployed."
Silencing the critics of the IAF for acquiring machines and weapons from the international market, the air chief made it amply clear that none of the officers clamour for most modern machines in international market and said, "Generals and marshals do not like new toys to be bought from the international market. India will be secure if it had its own designed, produced and maintained equipment."
ACM Tyagi asserted that Indian airspace should be more secure with newer technologies such as unmanned vehicles and unmanned combat vehicles, besides superior armament. He said India was a nuclear weapon state and more countries in the neighbourhood were also gaining similar status. He said exploitation of space was a necessity for maintaining India's security.
Commenting that "diplomacy without military muscle is useless," he said in the era of globalisation, international borders have become meaningless and countries with longer reach in airpower would will be able to secure economic independence. He asserted that India's security needs could be best met only by aerospace power.
Tyagi said the induction of new technology into the IAF would not be of any use unless there was proper maintenance back up and logistic support.
Natarajan in his opening remarks highlighted various aerospace endeavours including the development of Light Combat Aircraft, Medium Combat Aircraft, Unmanned Air Vehicles and stressed the need to enhance significantly the defence research fund.
He said currently the allocated fund was abysmally low when compared to other countries adding that from the current level of Rs 25,000 crore, the defence research allocation was expected to reach around Rs 40,000 crore in the next 10 years.
He said the thrust areas for development would be Electronic Warfare Systems, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, air-to-air missiles, and Airborne Warning Systems.
On individual programmes he said the LCA (Tejas) programme was on track with more than 600 flights logged so far.
The IAF had ordered for 20 LCAs besides the eight Limited Series Production he said adding, that another order for one more squardon of LCA was expected once the final operational clearance was obtained.
Natarajan said the naval variant of LCA was also under development and various aerospace systems and products being developed would meet the requirement of IAF for the next 25 to 30 years.
Natarajan said work on medium and long endurance Unmanned Air Vehicles had also commenced.
On the Airborne Early Warning Systems, he said that two systems using a jet airliner platform would be developed and handed over to IAF in the first phase. There was requirement for six to eight systems in the second phase, he added.
On Kaveri engine, the indigenous engine being developed to power the LCA, he said nearly 90 to 93 per cent of the expected performance had been realised and the government had recently floated an expression of interest to seek partners to move the programme further.