Aptly titled 'Tejas', the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) will blaze the skies and take Brand India to new heights. The aircraft has been developed over a period of three decades and was embroiled in numerous red tapes. It has finally got its go-ahead in the proud presence of Defence Minister A K Antony and Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik.
The indigenously developed aircraft is developed jointly by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a budget of Rs 560 crore. The plan was initiated way back in 1983 and had to undergo technical hurdles from various ministries.
The formal operations is expected to start by the end of 2012 and the LCA will be inducted to the India Air Force (IAF) around the same time, revealed Ministry officials. The IAF had placed orders for 40 LCAs in March 2005. These 40 LCAs will be powered by the American-based General Electric GE-F404 engines.
Bangalore being the central hub of development of these LCAs, these air crafts will be deployed by the IAF out of Bangalore. The design originated from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) with HAL being the nodal manufacturing agency.
(With inputs from PTI)