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MAKING A POINT: K. Kasturirangan, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, delivering a lecture at a seminar in Hyderabad on Tuesday. -Photo: Mohd. Yousuf
HYDERABAD : The Indian Air Force and the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) are to jointly decide in three to four months on firming up the aircraft for mounting the indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).
This was stated here on Tuesday by Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister M. Natarajan while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on `Technological challenges in hypersonic systems and reusable launch vehicles', organised at the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL). It would take 42 to 48 weeks for carrying out modifications after the aircraft was finalised.
It may be recalled that the Brazilian Embraer and a few other aircraft are in the contention for the AWACS project. The DRDO had already given its technical inputs to IAF regarding the short-listed aircraft.
He cited the successful flight test of PV-2 of Light Combat Aircraft as one of the achievements of 2005. The multi-role fighter aircraft was now closer to user's acceptance profile. The other achievement during the year was the demonstration of anti-battle tank Nag missile with warhead, as per the requirement.
Declining to state when Agni-III would be flight tested, he said most of the development work was over, adding "technically we are prepared for it."
Regarding hypersonic technology demonstrator flight vehicle, DRDL Director P. Venugopalan said a small module up to an altitude of 30 km and up to Mach 8 was being built. The ground tests of the engine were continuing and the flight test was expected in two to three years.
Access to space
Earlier, in his presidential address to the seminar, ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair said that engine which burns hydrogen had been successfully tested for speed up to Mach 6. Access to space at present was costing around $ 15000 a kg. The real challenge was to develop technology which would cut the cost to $1000 a kg. Air-breathing and reusable technologies could help in this direction, he added.
Delivering Aryabhatta lecture, K. Kasturirangan, MP and Director, National Institute of Advance Studies, said that space astronomy would be one of the frontier research areas in the 21st century. The exciting areas cited by him included formation of stars, evolution of planets, galaxies and satellites.
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