The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on-boards top UAV (unmanned aerial vehi cle) scientist A P V S Prasad as the chief executive of the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).
CEMILAC is a pivotal arm of DRDO that provides airworthiness certification support to desi missions. Added to clearing upgrades and integration of imported and indigenous systems. Prasad took charge on May 31 following the superannuation of P Jayapal.
Rustom brain Prasad was earlier the Programme Director of Rustom-II UAV mission at Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO arm mandated to develop unmanned systems.
Rustom-II is a MALE (medium altitude long endurance) UAV capable of undertaking missions for surveillance and reconnaissance. It is currently under development at ADE.
DRDO sources say that Prasad was earlier given the task to revive the Rustom-II project when it was moving at a slow pace. As PGD Rustom-II, he was responsible for getting the platform ready for its successful maiden flight from DRDO’s Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga.
He was the recipient of Scientist of the Year Award in 2016 in addition to various other recognition in his career. He was also the recipient of the Lab Scientist of the Year Award in 1998.
Prior to moving to CEMILAC, Prasad was working in the Defence Avionics and Research Establishment (DARE), a DRDO wing that primarily looked into the needs of airborne electronic warfare and avionics systems for armed forces.
The 51-year-old scientist is among one of the youngest in DRDO to have been appointed to this top post.
The first Tejas FOC (final operational clearance) fighter (SP-21) will be among the ongoing projects that would knock at the doors of CEMILAC for certification this year.