DRDO working on pilotless aircraft: Scientist Dr. Tessy Thomas
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DRDO working on pilotless aircraft: Scientist Dr. Tessy Thomas

August 1, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the premier R&D organisation of the country, is currently working on the manufacture of pilotless aircraft, said Dr. Tessy Thomas, Distinguished Scientist, Former Director-General of Aeronautical Systems, DRDO and Project Director for Agni IV Missile and Agni V Mission, Government of India.

Delivering the Sardar Panikkar Memorial Lecture as part of the 61st Foundation Day celebrations of Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Mysuru, at the Assembly Hall in the Institute premises in Manasagangothri here this morning, she stressed on the importance of carrying out extensive studies and research for making further advancements in aeronautics sector and other allied fields.

“The weight of Agni I, II and III  was 50 tonnes which curtailed the speed of the missiles in the orbit. But continuous research helped us in bringing down the weight of Agni IV Missile to 22 tonnes, that resulted in a considerable increase of speed and sharpness of the missile. The use of latest technology to the hilt was responsible for this, which underlines the need for carrying out extensive research,”  Dr. Tessy Thomas said.

Maintaining that the Indian Aircraft Industry is looking up sharply, Dr. Tessy Thomas said the Government-owned HAL has bagged an order for production of 80 more aircraft recently in addition to the earlier order for manufacture of 123  which goes to show the advancement that the country has made over the years in the field of aeronautical research.

Asserting that the pilotless aircraft will certainly be a game-changer in war-fields, she said the DRDO has grown enormously over the years because of research and other related activities.

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Recalling the contribution of late former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to Indian space research, she said the present generation can get to learn DRDO’s research and capabilities through its expos.

Highlighting the country’s growth in the manufacture of civilian aircraft, Dr.Tessy Thomas said our scientists are working on manufacturing huge passenger aircraft like Boeing indigenously in the next two decades. HAL is also currently working on  the manufacture of 90-seater Taurus aircraft, she added.

The Distinguished Scientist lauded the RIE for being an Institute of repute in the area of School and Teacher Education.

Renowned film personality and TV artiste Malavika Avinash too spoke.

RIE Dean of Instruction Prof. Venkatesh Murthy, DEE Head Prof. Kalpana Venugopal, Principal Prof. Y. Sreekanth and others were present.

The Sardar Panikkar Memorial Lecture Series was introduced in 1964 in memory of the valuable services rendered by late Sardar Panikkar, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, for the development of education in India. Several eminent personalities such as Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, Dr. M.G.K. Menon, Dr. Raja Ramanna, Justice M.F. Saldanha, Padma Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar (former ISRO Chairman), Bharat Ratna Prof.C.N.R. Rao, Jnanpith awardee Dr. Chandrashekara Kambara, Dr. Subramanian Swamy (former MP) and others have delivered Panikkar lectures.

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