Indigenous Fighter Aircraft LCA -Tejas poised for IOC-II

Bangalore, Dec 19: The country's indigenously designed and developed multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft LCA-Tejas will get the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC II) on Friday, a significant step towards its induction into IAF squadron.

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, a single engine, light weight and highly agile frontline fighter, will receive IOC II at a function to be attended by Defence Minister A K Antony here.

On the eve of the milestone, defence major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said the production facilities have been set up at HAL and the aircraft delivery is expected to commence from 2014.

"We have plans to initially produce eight aircraft per year. Further plans are afoot to enhance the production rate to 16 aircraft per year in consultation with IAF and MOD (Ministry of Defence)", HAL Chairman Dr R K Tyagi said.

He said, "HAL is fully geared up to meet the challenging production schedule and hopes to fulfil the requirements of customers in a time bound manner."

HAL carried out around 500 sorties of LCA in 2013.

The aircraft will, however, have to cross several milestones before it receives the Final Operational Clearance (FOC), expected in 2015.

HAL carried out around 500 sorties of LCA in 2013, the highest for any particular year right from the start of the programme, which has been bogged down by delays.

Outstation flight trials were carried out at Leh, Jamnagar, Jaisalmer, Uttaralai Gwalior, Pathankot and Goa for cold weather, armament and weapon deliveries, MultiMode Radar (MMR), Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), hot weather and missile firing flight trials this year itself,Tyagi said in a release.

After IOC II, HAL will go ahead with the Series Production of LCA Tejas, he said.

LCA has also successfully demonstrated weapon delivery capability during weapon trials at Jamnagar and Jaisalmer.

HAL has been working towards building up infrastructure for production, he said, adding, with most of the aircraft system performance reaching desired levels, HAL production group would concentrate on stabilising the production line.

The production line at HAL has been moved to new premises with a built up area of around 28,000 Sq m of Hangars, Engineering and Administrative blocks.

Upgrade and augmentation of production tooling is underway to enhance the rate of production and to expedite delivery of aircraft for two IAF squadrons in the next four to five years,Tyagi said.


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