HAL on Thursday delivered an aircraft to Bangalore-based Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) which will be used the DRDO unit as a flying test bed for evaluation of performance of various radars being developed by LRDE.
The aircraft, which is a Dornier (DO-228) aircraft named 'Nabhratna' was handed over to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). According to sources, the aircraft was developed at its Kanpur division.
"This aircraft is equipped with indigenous synthetic aperture radar and, avionics and communication system," said Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri.
"We needed this aircraft much more than anything else for testing of radar in air as we had to depend on others to loan the aircraft. Use of flying test bed (FTB) aircraft will reduce the cycle time for development for airborne system," he added. "Money invested for the aircraft will give us returns many times more as the aircraft will prove its worth in the months to come," he added.
On the occasion, K Tamil Mani, DRDO Director General (Aero), said partnership between HAL and DRDO on various platforms would continue. "Our confidence stands vindicated when we see the targets at HAL are met with complete dedication," he felt.
Till now, whenever the LRDE needed to test any radar under development, they would approach the Indian Navy or Indian Coast Guard for loan allotment of DO-228 aircraft for a limited period. It was difficult to spare the aircraft because of operational needs, often resulting in delay in the development of radars, HAL said in a release. In view of this, the LRDE decided to procure one DO-228 aircraft on their own for testing of radar in air.