India is looking for a partner to develop a higher thrust engine for its ambitious Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, and the present version will take to the skies in 2010, according to defence minister A K Antony.
Antony said that the LCA will be a reality, and for the higher thrust engine, a new engine is needs, for which the quest for a partner was in progress, and the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the DRDO are jointly working on this. He was speaking to the media at the inauguration of the new campus of the Defence Avionics Research and Establishment (DARE), a premium research unit for avionics at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) complex.
The IAF has placed orders for 20 LCAs, and orders for another 20 were in the pipeline, said Antony. He denied reports that the IAF was not interested in this aircraft.
Antony said that India would have to face problems if scientists did not develop indigenous technologies and the state-of-the-art equipment in the field of aeronautics. He stressed the need for developing indigenous technologies to counter challenges imposed by import restrictions and technology transfers. Located at Bangalore, the DRDO has been entrusted with the task for delivering high precision system to IAF, he said.