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Dr Tessy Thomas, renowned as the “Missile Woman of India,” has made an exciting proclamation that India can anticipate the development of large passenger aircraft within the next decade. Dr Thomas, who serves as the Director General of Aeronautical Systems and previously held the position of Project Director for Agni-IV missiles at the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), shared her optimistic projection during her keynote speech at a program titled ‘Women and Scientific Progress: Enabling Gender Diversity in Aerospace Research.’ The event was organized by the Indian Ladies Association under the patronage of the Indian Embassy in Bahrain.

During her address, Dr Tessy Thomas explained that the timeline for developing large passenger aircraft is estimated at around a decade, primarily due to the necessary establishment of the aero-engine manufacturing capability.

The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) is currently working on the design aspects of these engines. As part of this effort, a 90-seat aircraft is being developed. Dr Thomas expressed confidence that with the existing capabilities for manufacturing engines and other aircraft components in India, it will only take four to five years to witness the first flight of these systems. She also highlighted that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) has already accomplished the production of two-seater, three-seater, and 20-seater aircraft.

Dr Tessy Thomas emphasized the importance of developing aero-engine manufacturing capability within India, stating that government initiatives are already in progress to realize this objective. She firmly believes that within a decade or so, India will have the capability to manufacture and operate its large passenger aircraft.

During the question and answer session following her speech at the Leela Jashanmal Lecture 2023, Dr Thomas elaborated on India’s potential to build such aircraft. The event was graced by the presence of Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Al Asiri, CEO of Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency, who served as the guest of honor. The welcome address was delivered by ILA president Sharada Ajith, and Monika Srivastava, the patron of ILA, was also present.

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