BANGALORE: The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas programme got a shot in the arm on Wednesday when the Indian Air Force (IAF) deputed a senior officer to fly the aircraft.
Military sources told Express that Air Marshal S B P Sinha, Deputy Chief of Air Staff, who was on a two-day visit to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) facilities in the city, flew the trainer version of Tejas. Sinha visited HAL and ADA to review the programme, which is heading towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC).
The idea to fly a senior IAF official was to give him a first-hand feel of the aircraft. “Every pilot has praised the handling capabilities of Tejas. During the debriefing session, the Air Marshal expressed satisfaction over the aircraft’s capabilities both on the ground and in the air,” an official said.
Since the Initial Operational Clearance of Tejas, the project has been reviewed regularly by the Ministry of Defence officials in their attempt to avoid further slippages. Both HAL, ADA and other agencies in the project are now gearing up for the FOC, expected next year.