New Delhi,“A long felt void to have a flying test bed for testing the airborne radars and aerospace systems developed by DRDO is fulfilled”, said Shri AvinashChander, SA TO RM and Secretary Deptt of Defence R&D, speaking on the occasion of taking over the flying test bed (FTB) from DrRKTyagi Chairman HAL at Kanpur, yesterday. “There are many systems lined up for testing such as Maritime Patrol Radar, Synthetic Aperture Radar, Data-link, Electro-optics and EW systems. The money invested in procuring this aircraft will give us returns many times more as the aircraft will prove its worth in the months to come. The use of flying test bed (FTB) aircraft will reduce the cycle time for development for such airborne system” he added.
The aircraft, a modified Dornier was handed over to DRDO in a brief ceremony held at HAL Kanpur on 1st May 2014. LRDE, a premier DRDO lab known for design, development and leading to production wide spectrum of indigenous radars, had entered into a contract for delivery of Modified Dornier, DO-228 aircraft last year for testing the airborne radars and other systems.
Dr. Tyagi in his address said that it is named as ‘Nabhrathna’ signifying a jewel in the sky, for testing aerospace systems. The whole programme of delivery is done in a short span of one year, even though the schedule was 18 months.
Dr.K Tamil Mani, DS & DG ( Aero), Sri SS Sundaram, DS & DG (ECS), Sri S Ravind, DS & Director, LRDE, AVM Nambiar, Commandant, ASTE, Bangalore and Sri VK Joshi, GM, HAL, Kanpur were among the senior officials present on this momentous occasion.