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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up for faster and more efficient runway repairs with plans to procure Foldable Fiberglass Mats (FFM) from local private sector companies. This innovative technology, slated for acquisition by next year, promises swift recovery of runways damaged by unforeseen events, ensuring uninterrupted air operations.

Imagine a lightweight, rapidly deployable mat made from a special fiberglass-polyester resin composite. That’s the essence of FFMs. These rigid mats are woven and cut to specific shapes, enabling quick and efficient coverage of large craters on runways.

Time is critical during wartime or natural disasters when runways get damaged. Traditionally, repairing large craters takes hours, potentially hindering crucial air operations. FFMs offer a game-changer by:

  • Reducing repair time: Covering craters with FFMs takes a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods, enabling faster resumption of air operations.
  • Lightweight and portable: Their foldable design makes them easy to transport and deploy, even in remote locations.
  • Durable and reusable: FFMs are built to withstand repeated use and harsh weather conditions.

The IAF plans to invest around ?192 crore to acquire 122 sets of FFMs annually from selected Indian vendors. This move not only strengthens air defense capabilities but also boosts the domestic defense industry.

FFMs represent a significant advancement in airfield damage repair technology. Their quick deployment and easy operation make them a valuable asset for the IAF, ensuring uninterrupted air operations even in challenging situations. The Indian private sector’s involvement in developing and manufacturing this technology further strengthens India’s self-reliance in defense preparedness.

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