T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, speaks at a conference on advanced materials and manufacturing processes for strategic sectors in Thiruvananthapuram. (Credit Photo @ Hindu Business Line)
“The indigenisation of advanced materials is key to aerospace manufacturing in India,” T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL, said. Speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day (May 13-15) ‘International Conference on Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Strategic Sectors’ being organised at Thiruvananthapuram by the Indian Institute of Metals, a premier body representing the family of metallurgists, Raju said, “When it comes to aerospace raw material be it aluminium, titanium, plastics or composites there is wide capability gap in the country and, therefore, industries especially in the private sector must come forward to boost aerospace manufacturing in the country.” “One can achieve this dream by taking strategic materials research in mission mode in niche areas such as electronic materials, advanced high temperature alloys for propulsion systems, and composite material,” he added. Private sector must come forward to boost aerospace manufacturing in the country by filling up the supply gap for aerospace raw material such as titanium, plastics or composites, Suvarna Raju said.
This can be achieved by taking strategic materials research in ‘mission mode’ in areas such as electronic materials, advanced high temperature alloys for propulsion systems and composite material, Raju added. Raju also called for synergy between efforts of various governments and non-government establishments in defence, space and atomic energy to ensure that resources are not wasted through duplications.
‘Make in India’ concept
A two-pronged strategy is needed to fulfil ‘Make in India’ concept in this sector through strengthening of R&D ecosystem for strategic materials and processes and by augmenting manufacturing facilities. Among those who spoke were MC Dathan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre; Narayana Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, Midhani; and Baldev Raj, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. The conference includes invited talks by experts in areas covering broad spectrum of aerospace materials and manufacturing. The participants include R&D professionals, academicians and industry personnel.