Yesterday, I mentioned Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam, the subject of this DRDO homage. Well, I thought that tonight would be as good a time as any to highlight an excerpt from an August 2008 speech from a Special Dialogue on Energy independence with the Malaysian Nuclear Agency:
Let me also share my second experience when I was the chief of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). It was 1998, India achieved a very important national milestone of becoming a nuclear weapon state. This accomplishment is yours. Many nations imposed technology denials and economic sanctions after the event. Particularly, the Light Combat Aircraft programme came to a halt because of collaborating countries breaking the agreements on the development contracts undertaken. I took an emergency meeting of the ADA Board and we formed a National Team for LCA control system with 20 members drawn from 7 organizations in the country with a two years project schedule. In 18 months, we realized a world class digital fly by wire control system for the LCA. Now, four LCA aircraft are flying and 5th one is getting ready for flight test. Cumulative flying hours logged by the 4 aircraft is over 500 hours. The batch production of LCA TEJAS is to commence.