Coming Soon
It's been a while, but as they say, better late than never. We finally made some time to redesign our blog and soon we will have our own independent website. The blog helped us reach a huge audience and generate a lot of interest in this area. As a result, the format and (utility) of the blog seems overwhelmed, hence the transittion to the dedicated site. The URL for the new site and content will be disclosed soon. Till then, enjoy the blog and continue to contribute to our posts.
 
 
Saras: India's own civilian aircraft
India marked the successful inaugural flight of a 14-seater plane on Sunday, with hopes that the project could launch it into a global consortium for mid-sized aircraft.

"Saras", named after an Indian crane, took off over blue skies in India's technology capital of Bangalore, marking a milestone in the six year state-funded project.

The venture is a long haul for India, whose airlines buy all its passenger aircraft from global firms like Boeing and Airbus. India also sources most of its military aircraft from overseas, but makes some small military planes.

The Saras prototype cost around 330 million rupees ($7.1 million) to make at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

India, with its low-cost engineers, is keen to emulate the success of Brazil's Embraer, the world's No 4 civilian aircraft maker, in the market for planes used in executive travel, cargo, surveys and rescue.

The Indian Air Force has expressed interest in buying six Saras aircraft, to be made by NAL in partnership with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and private firms.

India has been approached by a consortium that comprises Russia's Sukhoi design bureau and NPO Saturn, Boeing and France's Snecma with an offer to join as a partner, said N R Mohanty, HAL's chairman.



He added that some 5,000 planes of 60-95 seat capacity were expected to be sold across the world in the period up to 2020.

In order to build the plane India had to overcome US sanctions linked to India's nuclear tests in 1998. The country suffered in importing components after US imposed sanctions against export of civilian parts that could be put to military use after New Delhi staged nuclear tests in 1998.

S Prahlad, a project consultant and former head of NAL, said after the launch that about 60-70 per cent of Saras's parts were made in India but the engine and avionic equipment were imported.

He added, however, that there were still some hurdles to cross in building the aircraft.

"We have quite a lot to do before making Saras a commercially viable aircraft," he said.

Critics say Saras, at 6.9 tonnes, is 800 kg overweight in relation to its original estimate but its makers said the additional weight only added to passenger comfort. A second prototype with improved features is expected within a year.

The federal government is also looking at buying 30 planes, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said recently.

Saras can help connect remote corners of India's sprawling rural areas besides laying the ground for serving a lucrative global market, officials said. They said India could make such aircraft roughly 20 per cent cheaper than key rivals.




Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:18 AM

 

 
The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

 
Search
About The Blog
This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at topcover.com
Guard members are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
If you're looking for a way to serve your community and country while maintaining your full-time civilian career, the National Guard is for you. Click below to learn more about the proud history of the Army National Guard.
Archives
Links
 
Copyright © USIndiadefense, 2006.
All Rights Reserved