Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman HAL Dr. R. K. Tyagi have said that Indian Air Force and HAL are conjoined twins and they will continue to complement each other in India’s Defence preparedness. Both of them were speaking at the Eighth L.M. Katre memorial lecture organized jointly by Air Force Association, Karnataka Branch, HAL and Aeronautical Society of India here today.
The Air Chief spoke at length on “National Security and Aerospace Power” pointing out that if the air-power characterised the military strength in the 20th century, the 21st century would be remembered for aerospace power. Cyber, space, nuclear and electronic technology would play a critical role in determining the strengths of the countries now and in the future, he added.
Dr. Tyagi in his speech paid glowing tributes to Air Chief Marshal L.M. Katre and said crucial projects like LCA and ALH were conceived during his time. Ever since, the company has come a long way and has served Indian defence forces with distinction, he said. “For example more than 70% of manufacturing needs of IAF is done by HAL”, he said.
According to Dr. Tyagi, technology is a game-changer and HAL is gearing up to emerge itself as technology driven company. “We have taken several measure on R&D such as ensuring funds to the tune of 10 % of profits, registering patents (430 plus at present) to protect intellectual property. We are contemplating developing aero-engines with the help of DRDO and BHEL, he added. A platform for collaborative promotion and development of new and emerging technologies in the field of aerospace need to be anchored around the technology roadmap of IAF, he insisted.
Dr Tyagi said HAL would strive to continue to be a partner of IAF in its bid to achieve greater self-reliance and modernization. HAL is gearing up to meet the challenges of handling new projects along with the production runs of the existing ones. A blue print is in place for creation of new divisions, modernisation and upgradation of the existing plants, providing increased thrust to indigenous technology development, productivity and quality improvements to meet the challenge.
A souvenir commemorating the eighth annual Katre Memorial Lecture was released on the occasion.