Tata Group has reportedly gained the intellectual property (IP) rights for a German-origin platform to make an ‘indigenous military aircraft’ in India.
The Economic Times (ET) reported that the group intends to fit the twin-engine, high-altitude aircraft with “native sensors and payloads”.
This integration will convert the jet into a platform that can perform cross-border surveillance, signal intelligence and many more missions.
It will be designed to fly at 41,000ft altitude with a maximum altitude of 45,000ft.
Currently, the jet is in its final stages of testing in Germany. It is likely to arrive in India in the next three months for further integration.
During the AeroIndia event in Bengaluru next week, Tata Group unit Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) will showcase the aircraft’s capabilities.
Though the company did not disclose any design details, the aircraft is ‘likely to be based on the Grob G 180 SPn’.
TASL managing director Sukaran Singh was quoted by ET as saying: “We are now focusing on modifying the aircraft to fit special payloads so that it can undertake a demonstration of surveillance capabilities.
“For a country like India, with multiple mountain ranges spread across the country, including on international borders, this capacity is extremely vital. India has been dependent on foreign suppliers to meet this need.”
According to the publication, producing a ‘full military-grade aircraft’ is a first by an Indian private firm.
So far, it was managed only by the country’s state-owned firm Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL).
In September 2018, TASL signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to begin the production of wings for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft in India.