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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

According to a report in The Indian Expres, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) proposed SARAS Mk II twin turboprop aircraft program has entered the critical design stage as an open-air engine test bed and real-time flight simulator has been set up at its facility for testing of various systems and subsystems.

CSIR-NAL has selected Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A turboprop engines to power SARAS Mk II that can be used under the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN. IAF has shown interest in procuring VVIP Configuration SARAS Mk II to ferry Senior ranked officials of the Military and government.

Mark 2 version which will have more than 70 percent indigenous content, will be around Rs. 40 crores to Rs.45 crore as against Rs.60 crore to Rs.70 crore for imported ones. Mark 2 version has considerable drag/weight reduction with unique features like high cruise speed, lower fuel consumption, short landing and take-off distance, low cabin noise, operable from a high and hot airfield, with a pressurized cabin, operable from semi-prepared airfield and low acquisition and maintenance cost.

idrw.org has been told that the rollout of the Mark 2 version was planned for 2024 but likely it will be delayed further.

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