Tiruchirapalli (TN): The first squadron of
Light Combat Aircraft Tejas would be located at Sulur Airbase
near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, a Senior DRDO official said.
Twenty LCAs would be stationed at Sulur in the first phase
by early next year and as many aircraft would be added to the
squadron subsequently and requisite facilities including
hanger and runway were being put in place, DRDO Chief
Controller (R&D) Dr W Selvamurthy said here yesterday.
Similarly another fleet of 40 LCAs, designed by DRDO and
manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, would be
stationed at an airbase near Dindigul in Tamil Nadu by the
second half of next year, he told reporters.
The Defence ministry had already attested initial
operation clearance last year and LCA`s Air and Naval variants
had already been rolled out as mass production by HAL.
He said DRDO was also planned to develop unmanned aerial
vehicle in four versions and prototype models had already been
The fifth version of Agni cruise missile with a 5,000 kms
range was likely to be demonstrated by January next.
Selvamurthy, who is also in-charge of international
cooperation wing of DRDO, said several pacts were envisaged
with countries like USA, UK, France, Israel and Belarus to
develop Joint Ventures for production of ultra modern weapons
and equipment for Defence purposes.
He said an Indo-US joint technology group has been set up
to develop foliage penetration radars and ground penetration
radars which would help in anti-terrorist and anti-insurgency
operations. A two-year time frame had been set to design and
develop the related products.
Earlier addressing the students of National Institute of
Technology here, he said DRDO would recruit a minimum of
5,000 people, including 3,000 scientists, in the next six
months. DRDO with over 50 laboratories across the country has
a headcount of 30,000 including about 8,000 scientists.
He said orders worth Rs 20,000 crores have been received
for AKASH cruise missiles from different defence
establishments in the world.