NAL to develop civilian aircraft

NAL to develop civilian aircraft

The NAL has completed a feasibility study on design and development of the aircraft, which will help to connect Tier-II and Tier-III cities with major metros, he said.

According to the feasibility study, the estimated cost of the project is Rs 7,555 crore, of which the design and development phase will cost Rs 4,355 crore, and production Rs 3,200 crore. The study concluded that a 70-100 seat regional transport aircraft had market potential.

Kumar said the development of the programme was of strategic interest as it would have several spin-offs. “I wish we had more aircraft, considering our own domestic demand. Of course we are a bit delayed in this venture, but we will make up for the lost time”, he said.

“NAL needs to move from pure science/research to developing innovative technology. The Government of India will fully support their programmes irrespective of their financial needs,” added Kumar.

NAL Director Dr A R Upadhya said his organisation was already partnering with German firms on the project. “We have already signed MoUs to help us in areas such as advanced avionics and next generation engines”, he said.

Supercomputing project

The Minister also announced that the Planning Commission was considering a project to enhance India’s supercomputing capability. “We are hoping to start with Rs 5,000 crore”, he added.

Lokpal controversy

On the controversy over the Lokpal bill, Kumar firmly stated that fighting corruption was on top of the government’s agenda. Asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had looked the other way when corruption was taking place, the Minister replied that no other government since Independence had taken strong action against the corrupt.

“A Cabinet minister has been put in jail, top corporate honchos are also in jail. We also asked the Chief Minister of a State to resign after corruption allegations”, said Kumar.


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