Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Friday laid the foundation stone of ‘Centre of Propulsion Technology’ in Mumbai, set up by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with with IIT-Bombay and IIT-Madras to support country’s plans for developing aero-engines and hypersonic propulsion for long duration flight.

The centre, established at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay in Powai, will be operational in the next two years and the research there will be jointly conducted by IIT-Bombay and IIT-Madras.

This is the third such centre being set up where a premier academic institute has been roped in for defence related research and development of technology. Earlier, similar centres had been set up in Kolkata and Delhi.

Bhamre said the centre is going to be a game-changing institution in the field of defence research.

“We want research teams to come up with futuristic technologies for defence sector. There will be target-oriented research, collaboratively done with experts and scientists,” he said.

There have been some gaps in the earlier technologies, hence, we have decided to bring best institutions together for defence and security enhancement, Bhamre said.

Chairman of DRDO, S Christopher, said, “We are looking for at least five-year-long research projects at such centres.

Earlier, projects of few years were given to academical institution like IIT-Bombay but its duration was around three years.”

“The centre is based on a long-term contract between DRDO and the IITs and will cater to more important and crucial research works, which will have specified a deadline to achieve,” he said.

Meanwhile, Devang Khakhar, Director of IIT-B, said, the first meeting of research advisory board was held on Thursday and the first phase of development has been approved already.

The governing council will take a final call soon over the proposals from the board, he said.

The centre for propulsion technology will facilitate and undertake multi-disciplinary directed basic and applied research in the focused areas of futuristic aero-engines, hypersonic propulsion for long duration flight, solid propellant combustion modelling and morphing aircraft including its propulsion and associated technologies addressing the emerging defence and security needs.