The National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) set-up exclusively for India's light combat aircraft (LCA) programme Tejas has got a new chief. According to sources Air Cmde Muthnanna (initials not known) is the new NFTC chief and his designation will be project director (flight test) -- PD (FT). He was part of IAF's Project Management Team (PMT), operating out of the ADA campus in Bangalore. Sources say that he was PD (Ops) before assuming the office of PD(FT) on July 1. Muthanna takes over the mantle of NFTC at a time when the Tejas programme is terribly running behind the schedule. There were no major developments post-Aero India 2011 (February) with most platforms down for servicing. Top it all, the weather is acting against carrying out further flight trials. LSP-7, LSP-8 and NP-1 are next in line for their maiden flights, though many deadlines were set, have come, gone and forgotten. Now, the months of September, October, November and December promises some action.
Muthanna's predecessor Air Cmde Rohit Verma -- quit the top NFTC post on July 8 (his last working day) after IAF refused to give him his AVM promotion twice. Though insiders say that the programme would go on (and it should), there are some sections upset with all these sudden developments.
More on Muthanna, his men, machines and missions soon on Tarmak007.