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Another Agni-III test in the offing: DRDO

Top defence scientist M Natarajan says the DRDO is also close to developing a supersonic fighter trainer.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2007 15:51 IST

Indicating that another test of the country's most advanced nuclear-capable Agni-III missile is in the offing, top defence scientist M Natarajan on Sunday said the DRDO was close to developing a supersonic fighter trainer.

"Along with undertaking full development of the air force and naval versions of the LCA, we have developed the capability of making in the shortest time of next 10 years a supersonic fighter trainer," Natarajan said during an appearance in the show "In Conversation" on Doordarshan. The second test of the Agni-III was in the offing, he said. The first launch of the missile last year was a failure.

The chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation said a multi-mode radar had been mounted on the LCA for the first time.

A breakthrough had been made in installing a phased array radar on the LCA and a beyond visual range air-to-air missile was also in the final stages of development, he said.

"The LCA will give India a platform to develop a medium combat aircraft of 20 tonnes soon," he said while facing a barrage of questions on the huge time and cost over-runs in the DRDO's strategic weapons programmes.

First Published: Jan 14, 2007 14:41 IST