The stealthy Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project which the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on ‘definitely needs a new engine’ for the features the aircraft is likely to have, announced Dr Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri and Chairman, DRDO.
Speaking on the sidelines of the DRDO International Conference on future of aerospace here in Bengaluru, Dr Reddy said till the new engine is developed ‘we will have to look for an existing engine.’ He did not mention any engine.
DRDO, he said, is going to concentrate on futuristic activities, research and development and collaboration within the country and outside. It would collaborate on six themes – material development for stealthy aircraft, lightweight, hypersonics, engines, UAVS (unmanned aerial vehicles) and UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles). “We are going to be having joint research, joint development in some of the areas, particularly engines with the industry. We will take them on board right from the beginning such that they will be able to absorb the technology and produce it.” Wherever necessary, DRDO would hand-hold to take the projects to the logical conclusion.
DRDO, he said, had created a technology development fund and had now expanded the fund to indigenise 125 items. “If there are companies with capabilities, we are ready to take them on board to develop some of these items.” DRDO, he added, was setting up a committee for innovative manufacturing processes. “We want to make processes more efficient and minimise the number of steps. Some of the processes which used to take up to 10 to 12 years has been reduced to 4 to 5 years.” Besides, the fund, DRDO has ‘Dare to Dream’ programme where it invites young scientists to come up with ideas and help them commercialise them.
Author is a Bengaluru based independent journalist.