Friday, March 18, 2016

NAL hopeful of funding to revive Saras

NAL director Shyam Chetty says that the crash of the second Saras prototype in 2009 created programme delays that pushed development funding into a third national five-year planning period. The next financial plan has been delayed owing to the government of Narendra Modi, which entered power in May 2014.

“The entire planning and funding process is looked at very differently [under the Modi government],” he says. “The Saras was one of the victims of this change financing for major programmes.”

Chetty spoke with Flightglobal at the India Aviation event in Hyderabad.

The first Saras prototype is in storage in Bangalore. This aircraft, which was extensively upgraded after the crash of the second prototype, was conducting low speed taxi tests when funding evaporated. Chetty says this aircraft is ready to resume taxi tests upon NAL obtaining fresh funding.

A third prototype is in the early stages of production, its construction frozen by lack of funds.
17/03/16 Greg Waldron/Flight Global
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