Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has once again came in the news after India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh undertook a maiden sortie on a Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.
Here are major landmarks that LCA Tejas has undertaken till now:
The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters. In 2003, the LCA was officially named "Tejas".
The Tejas is an Indian single-engine, delta wing, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
The Tejas is an indigenous light weight, multi role supersonic aircraft developed in both fighter and trainer versions.
Advanced materials like composites are used in the manufacture of the Tejas to reduce weight and increase the component life.
The Tejas is designed to carry a veritable plethora of air-to-air, air-to- surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry.
IAF will get the new batch of 83 jets and it will be in addition to the 40 aircraft that have already been ordered by the IAF.
With final operational clearance (FoC), the IAF has inducted 16 weaponised LCAs into its combat fleet since June 2018 after its pilots validated its earlier version with initial operational clearance (IoC) by the military aviation regulator Cemilac here in December 2013.
Though the IAF will initially have two squadrons of Tejas with 18 fighters each, it plans to have more of them with an additional 83 of them as Mark-1 version.
On September 13, the naval version of Tejas LCA had achieved a major milestone with a successful "arrested landing" at the shore-based Test Facility of INS Hansa in Goa. The Indian Navy had hailed September 13 as a "golden letter day" in its history.
In the past, former defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman flew in a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter of the IAF on January 17, 2008 from Jodhpur air base in Rajasthan. She was also the first woman Raksha Mantri to fly in a fighter as a "co-pilot.