In the latest development in the theree decades old programme to develop indigenous Light Combat Airfcraft “Tejas”, it cleared the initial operation clearance status (IOC) here in Bangalore today. By doing so India joined the elite club of countries having their own Fighter Aircrafts developed from scratch indigenously.
Tejas was handed over to the Indian Air Force by Defence minister A K Antony after IO clerance. Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik was present at the occasion when Tejas was officially inducted to IAF.
Initial Operation Clerance or IOC is going to allow the IAF to fly the LCA till Final Operational Clearance (FOC) is achieved and the multi-role fighter is inducted into operational service in regular Indian Air Force. Initially 8 aircrafts will be under supervision and after the FOC status is achieved first squadren of 20 aircrafts are going to be inducted into Indian Air Force.
First prototype of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas made a maiden flight Jan 4, 2001, almost a decade before it was finally inducted to IAF. After a long three decades of developing various prototypes LCA achieved its first IOC status today.
Tejas is India’s first self developed multi-role fly-by-wire superaircraft and world’s smallest fighter aircraft developed by the state-run Aeronautical Defence Agency (ADA). Tejas is manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) at Bangalore.
The IAF is planning to include around 200 LCAs (10 squadrons) in its fleet, which is going to help Indian Air Force to bring an understrength fleet power back to its original projected strength of 39 squadrons. LCA Tejas is going to replace aging fleets of Russian origin and Indian made MiG-21s.
The LCA is developed jointly by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a budget of Rs 560 crore, which was revised many times after plan was initiated in 1983 to develop India’s indigenous fighter aircraft. It also received many hurdles from various ministries of Government of India at variosu stages of development of the aircraft.
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