Hindustan Aeronautics Limited today handed over the first LCA Tejas twin seater aircraft to the Indian Air Force.
In 1983, HAL Tejas was envisioned as a light combat aircraft to replace Indian Air Force’s MiG-21.
Plagued with in-flight stability issues with flight control system and unstable fly-by-wire control system, Hindustan Aeronautics has been flight testing for more than 20 years.
India Navy has ditched the aircraft concerning aircraft’s capability to land and take off from INS Vikrant and operate in high corrosive environment.
According to Indian Air Force’s internal review of the aircraft, HAL Tejas has been the most expensive MiG-21 ever built costs whopping $77 million.
The Bengaluru-headquartered company said the twin seater variant has all the capabilities to support the training requirements of the IAF and augments itself to the role of fighter as well in case of necessity.
Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt was the chief guest during the function wherein the unveiling of the LCA twin seater, handing over of Release to Service (RSD), Signalling out Certificate (SOC) were conducted in the presence of Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, among others.
The LCA Tejas twin seater is a light weight, all weather multi-role fourth generation aircraft.
It is an amalgamation of concepts and technologies, quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control, maneuvering, glass cockpit, integrated avionics systems and composite materials for the airframe, HAL said.
This adds India to the list of “very few” elite countries who have created such capabilities and have them operational in their Defence Forces, it said, adding, it’s another feather on the cap of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative of the Government of India.
“This historic event today will mark the achievement of a key milestone of producing an LCA twin seater which is designed with a strategic intent of graduating the budding pilots from the twin seater variants to fighter pilots”, HAL said.
HAL has an order of 18 twin seaters from IAF and is planning to deliver eight of them during 2023-24. The remaining 10 would be delivered progressively by 2026-27.
Hindustan Aeronautics can produce only 12 aircraft per year. It will take a decade to produce 83 aircraft ordered by IAF.
Further, more orders are also expected from IAF, the company said.
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