Nagpur, Oct. 7: The air force’s maintenance command will for the first time begin assembling aircraft, stepping into the domain of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
The maintenance command’s chief, Air Marshal P. Kanakaraj, said the air force’s base repair depot (BRD) in Ozar, Nashik, would start assembling training-class aircraft within a year.
“It will be a quantum jump in the working of the maintenance command,” he said, adding that the BRDs had so far only repaired, maintained and overhauled aircraft.
Kanakaraj said HAL, which assembles foreign aircraft for the air force, had not been able to absorb technology to the air force’s satisfaction while the BRDs were working more efficiently with their upgraded infrastructure and facilities.
“We lack in designs and aero-engines; otherwise we are very close to manufacturing our own aircraft.”
Kanakaraj later said that before assembling trainer-class aircraft, the air force might first try out assembling unmanned aerial vehicles “that have simple designs”.
“We are bound to make mistakes initially, so pilot-less aircraft are an ideal platform to start off.”