Vasco (Goa), Dec 9 (ANI): The test flight of India's naval version of indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas began at the naval air station INS Hansa here on Tuesday.
The LCA, a project of aeronautical development agency (ADA) is the first supersonic fighter craft manufactured indigenously by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).he aircraft has naval and Indian air force versions.
The HAL has manufactured four aircraft, which are being put under rigorous testing by fighter pilots.
Talking to reporters here, Air vice Marshal Shankar Mani said that the aircraft bridged the gap in the training requirement of the Indian Air Force.
"To bridge the gap in the training requirement of the Indian Air Force, it has the capacities and capabilities of air-to-ground armament work and air-to-air work also and in the due process of training of Indian Air Force fighter pilots have to be progressed through all the envelopes in which the aeroplane operates and they would be proficient to hone their skills," said Mani.
The first consignment of four aircraft would be delivered by January 2011, followed by eight aircraft in 2012 and another eight in 2013.
The IAF has already ordered 20 LCAs from HAL, which would be delivered by 2013.
Defence Ministry began pushing for the LCA after the country lost nearly 200 Russian-made MiG series aircraft in crashes since 1990, blamed by the air force on manufacturing defects. (ANI)