DRDO testing range in C'durga by next year

The Defence Research and Development Organisation testing range  for radar-based electronic warfare systems in Chitradurga will be operational by 2011.

Speaking on the sidelines of an electronics warfare workshop organised by the Association of Old Crows (AOC), India Chapter, Chief Controller (R&D) Prahalad said: “We have already completed the groundwork and work on the runway is scheduled to begin soon. With considerable progress in the work, we are looking at inaugurating the 4,000-acre aeronautical test range next year.”

Besides, testing range proposed in Tandur near Hyderabad will also be completed by 2013, he said adding that the estimated cost of the ranges is between Rs 400-Rs 500 crore each.

Once both these ranges are operational, experimental and research and development tests can be conducted.

Electronic warfare

He said with the world moving towards fourth generation technology in the electronic warfare (EW) front, the DRDO will also have it by 2012 –– as it is vital in war scenarios.

As a runup to further developments, India has successfully completed integration of electronic warfare systems on the MiG-27 as part of upgrading and is gearing up to do the same with the MiG-29 and the LCA in 2011.

It will be operational in 2012, Prahalad said.

He said the DRDO labs like the Defence Avionics Research Establishment, the Instruments Research and Development Establishment, the Defence Electronics Application Laboratory and Defence Electronics Research Laboratory are actively pursuing developments on this technology.

The DRDO is expecting Rs 9,000 crore in the next budget for the strategic and tactical developments.

Tie-up with Israel

Speaking about the tie-up with Israel for the long-range surface-to-land missiles, Prahalad said the ground testing is complete with some elements being manufactured here and some other there.

“We will have the trials in the coming year,” he added.

Exuding confidence that the DRDO is capable of reducing the imports of equipment in the coming years, he said: “The value of products manufactured here against the value of the products imported is 50:50 and we want the former to be 70 per cent.”  He said that DRDO has set 2020 as the target to achieve it.

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