Pune: All modern aircraft are equipped with a Canopy Severance System (CSS), which is an escape path clearance system for the pilot in case of emergencies occurring on the aircraft.

State-of-the-art CSS has been developed ab-initio at Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune in association with High Energy Material Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, for the indigenously developed TEJAS and Trainer Aircraft, HJT-36 Aircraft and HTT-40 Aircraft. It provides safe passage by pre-weakening/severing the canopy to facilitate the smooth escape of the pilot in the shortest possible time.

CSS has two independent sub-systems. The first one is the In-flight Egress System (IES) for in-flight emergencies, which is integrated with the seat ejection operation and the second one is the Ground Egress System (GES) for on-ground emergencies, which is independent of seat ejection. CSS works on the principle of controlled propagation of detonation using explosive mechanical energy. It consists of critical mechanical and explosive components qualified to military-grade requirements and demonstrating high reliability. CSS for TEJAS and trainer aircraft were tested successfully in seat ejection trials at M/s Martin Baker Co., London, UK and M/s. Zvezda, Moscow, Russia respectively. The CSS design has been cleared by Certifying Agency RCMA (AA), Pune and CEMILAC, Bangalore has issued Type Approval. Third-party QA coverage during the entire development as well as in production thereafter has been provided by ORDAQA (A), Pune, a local unit of DGAQA.

License Agreement of ToT was signed with M/s GOCL as a Production Agency. All the ToT documents were handed over and training was imparted to GOCL personnel. Complete handholding till the transfer of technology, including know-how and know-why was ensured by rigorous qualification testing which was approved by a third party QA Agency, ORDAQA(A), Pune. The service use of GOCL produced CSS sets was cleared by RCMA (AA), Pune as a Certifying Agency.

GOCL has already supplied 08 Nos of CSS after fulfilling all rigorous qualification and functional tests as applicable for Air-Borne systems. Further orders are being executed by the company.

Presently, CSS has been integrated on 25 TEJAS, 12 HJT-36, 2 TEJAS Trainers and Naval versions and the two HTT-40 Aircraft. All aircraft are undergoing test flights with CSS onboard. HAL has approached for production and supply of 105 CSS sets for LCA and 75 CSS sets for HTT-40 aircraft within four years. ARDE and HEMRL are now capable of developing CSS for any Military Aircraft as required by Indian Air Force.