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Dr Abhay A. Pashilkar, Director, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories confirmed that SARAS MK II, a 19-seat light transport aircraft that can presumably serve regional airports and reach India’s countryside, has undertaken wind tunnel testing and preliminary system design with next step is to create prototypes.

SARAS MK II is currently going through a detailed design phase and once drawings are completed it will enter the fabrication stage followed by a rollout and flight test that was to be done by end of 2024 or early 2025.

NAL recently placed an order worth approximately Rs 64 crore with Private sector company Paras Defence for the Avionics Suite of the Saras MK II Aircraft that includes the entire glass cockpit of the aircraft, including all control, monitoring, communication, navigation, weather, and anti-collision systems, as well as the Auto-Pilot System.

IAF initially will place orders for 15 units of SARAS MK II to be used to ferry High ranked officials around the country, NAL also has plans to develop a special variant for the Agencies that are to be equipped with sensors and payload for intelligence and surveillance capabilities.

SARAS MK II primarily will be offered to facilitate connectivity with states in the country’s northeast and eastern states under the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) regional connectivity scheme for which many smaller airports are being developed that have increased the need for smaller 17-19 seater aircraft that is capable of day and night operations.

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