The granting of an initial operational clearance to the light combat aircraft (LCA) is a proud moment for the country. It is now close to induction in the IAF after its development was delayed by a decade.
IAF had earlier given a “lukewarm” welcome to this much delayed and vital piece of defence technology, as expressed by IAF vice-chief Air Marshal P.K. Barbora’s comments late last month. These comments must be understood in terms of that force’s requirements for a ready weapon. LCA is some distance from that goal.
While not detracting from the achievement of scientists, LCA’s development and induction show the need for a better model for development of crucial technologies and their induction in the armed forces. There is no scope for “errors” in the functioning of such?items. Unlike items of daily use, there is little room for flaws when it comes to defence applications.