Unmanned Tejas in a decade?

Just saw this interview of DRDO chief M Natarajan to Vayu Aerospace & Defence Review, where he says, "We can adapt the LCA into becoming an advanced UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), not immediately, perhaps 10 years down the road."

He also says, "As a corollary to these developments, we can think of a twin-engined LCA of the 18-20 ton category, gradually developing a spectrum of products... We can think positively of the LCA replacing MiG-21s, then we can think of a futuristic MCA to replace certain number of squadrons of medium multirole combat aircraft, but with more advanced technologies."

Regarding Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar's biography of the Tejas programme ("The Tejas Story"), and his assertion that ego clashes between the IAF and DRDO had caused the programme delays, Natarajan said, "Beyond 2000, this book has no relevance. Dr SR Valluri was there, then there was a designer from UK called Mendiratta. Dr Valluri had written to me when I took over. I said there was no reason to go back into the past. As of now there are no conflicts between the IAF and DRDO. DRDO took the initiative when Air Chief Marshal Tyagi was Chief of Air Staff and we asked them to position IAF officers at the LCA facility in Bangalore. As of now there are 25 IAF personnel with Air Marshal Nanjappa leading this LCA induction team.

Photo ┬ęCopyright LiveFist / Shiv Aroor

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