According to a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) release here on Saturday, Nov 8, the Prototype Vehicle-3 aircraft, in its maiden night flight, took off at 2005 hrs from Bangalore Airport on Friday, Nov 7 and carried out a set of predetermined manoeuvres to demonstrate its night capability. The aircraft was piloted by Group Capt N Tiwari of the National Fight Test Centre while Wing Cdr R K Dash, the test director and other Senior Officers of the Tejas Programme, monitored the progress of the flight at the telemetry station. The flight met all its test objectives.
The night qualification marks an important step towards achieving Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The flawless flight would pave way for systems and weapon integration for delivery by night. The modifications for achieving night capability was worked out by a dedicated team in Aeronautical Development Agency and ably supported by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, IAF, CEMILAC and DGAQA. Tejas is likely to be inducted into the Air Force by 2011 with its final clearance in 2010.