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India to develop supersonic fighter trainer
February 12, 2007 20:32 IST
India is mulling to design and develop a supersonic lead-in fighter intended to give far-more advance training to pilots and equip them to command all types of jet planes, a Defence official said.
The fighter trainer that Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency is thinking of designing and developing is aimed to do roles beyond AJT (advanced jet trainer), ADA Director P S Subramanyam said.
Subramanyam said there is scope for a trainer beyond AJT and many countries are looking to develop one.
"With supersonic lead-in fighter trainer, it will be easy for the pilots to adapt to any type of aircraft", he said, adding, "Configuration studies are expected to be completed in 18 months."
Subramanyam said the biggest challenge faced by the ADA, an aircraft design house under the Defence Research and Development Organisation, in undertaking projects is manpower shortage.
Much of the engineering talent is being sucked by the booming IT industry luring them with pay packets three-four times higher than they get elsewhere, he said.
Subramanyam said ADA had also conceptualised a medium combat aircraft, envisaging a 1000 km strike range and one which can carry a payload of five tonnes. The investment requirement for this project was in the region of $2 billion, he said.According to him, Indian aeronautical sector had gained considerable strength in recent years, and overseas firms could no longer dictate it and were ready with work as "equal partners".