Over Rs 400 crore are being pumped by The Defense Research and Development Organization commonly known as DRDO who are charged with Indian military’s research and development into IIT Bombay and IIT Madras start an advanced aerospace research development related to defense. The various products and technologies that will soon be under development include gas turbine engines that are used to run aircraft, aircraft that can be smoothly changed into missiles and missile propulsion. Some other products include hypersonics that will allow the flights to run at several times than the speed of sound and long range missile rockets.
Sealed with ‘Make in India’ in mind, this is one of the most unique partnerships between DRDO and IITs. As per highly placed sources who are involved closely in the respective alliance, the approval from the Ministry of Defense is still pending for the tripartite MOU, which has been recently signed between the DRDO and the two IITs. The approval is expected to arrive within few months. DRDOs will spend one hundred and eighty crore, on IIT Bombay as well as IIT Bombay. Another sum of Rs 50 or 6o crore will be used to fund the development of infrastructure at IIT Bombay.
The infrastructure that is being funded by the Defense will be the headquarters for the now proposed Center for Propulsion Technology. S R Chakravarthy who is a professor of aerospace engineering and also the head in charge of the new proposed project at IIT Madras said “. "This is one of the biggest investments by the government into academic research and cuts to the root of the Make in India campaign." These recently made efforts which are a part to revitalize DRDO, faced several and frequent flak from CAG.
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The infrastructure that is being funded by the Defense will be the headquarters for the now proposed Center for Propulsion Technology. S R Chakravarthy who is a professor of aerospace engineering and also the head in charge of the new proposed project at IIT Madras said “. "This is one of the biggest investments by the government into academic research and cuts to the root of the Make in India campaign." These recently made efforts which are a part to revitalize DRDO, faced several and frequent flak from CAG. As per the recent news received by the media, the organization has started restructuring under Defense Minsiter Manohar Parrikar and a new chief from DRDO.
Krishnan Balasubramanian who is the dean of industrial research at IIT Madras said that “, DRDO could identify private partners from the industry who can work with research faculty at IIT on technology development. While DRDO will be the primary funding agency now, other industries could join in later.” Although the main nodal centers will be IIT Bombay and IIT Madras, but three other IITS including IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati and IIT Bhubneshwar and one NIT are expected to be the associated in the new proposed research.
IIT Madras and IIT Bombay faculty members along with three to four small groups of professors from the institutes associated with the research will select projects and work towards it. Chakravarthry further said that “These kind of inter collaboration among the IITs for a project of such a big magnitude is also in first of its kind. The ideation for the new Centre for Propulsion Technology has been going on for the past year and a half, mostly taking final shape in forms of approvals early this year.”
The center has approximately forty five faculty members at IIT Madras across eight departments who are expected to be participating in this new proposed project. IIT Bombay will have twenty five faculty members across the departments who are expected to participate in this new proposed high end research related to aerospace technology. The respective research is being conducted for the very first time in the country.
At present around sixty to seventy percent of the military aircraft are being imported by India. Although they are indigenously developed the designs are made outside. For example the right to manufacture a Sukhoi that are imported by India from Russia are bought we aren’t do not do the design. Chakravarthy further said that “This kind of a research center will enable us to get the design basis. We can design very high end machinery for which design basis will not be available anywhere else in the world."
The research has been identified with four streams. One of these streams is centered on technology that will help in developing advanced version supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos. This respective missile can travel at a speeds or Mach 2.8 to 3.0. IITs are centering on the new versions of BrahMos can travel at a speed of Mach 12 and Mach 13 and there are other versions in making that can travel at the speed of Mach 6.5.
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