Tejas to Begin High-altitude Trials in Leh
By Anantha Krishnan M | Published: 05th February 2014 07:57 AM |
The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) campaign of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is set to gain momentum with the high altitude trials scheduled this week in Leh. Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) Director P S Subramanyam told Express on Tuesday that during the Leh trials, the aircraft engine would be started at lower than -10 degree Celsius.
“We will also evaluate the aircraft performance at low temperature and high altitude. This time, we need to also test the performance of various sensors at the hilly terrain,” Subramanyam said.
Only one aircraft is participating in the current trials with ground support teams already being positioned at Nasik, Pathankot and Leh.
“These trails will not exceed more than a week. We have the next phase of weapon trials in Jamnagar, scheduled in March,” the ADA chief said.
He said the number of test flights of Tejas dipped in January owing to the preparatory phase for the FOC campaign.
“Various activities for the FOC have been initiated much before the Initial Operational Clearance event in December 2013. Most of the FOC parameters that we need to achieve have reached the halfway mark,” he said. Currently the aircraft from the Tejas flight-line are being upgraded to the FOC configuration to undertake flight trials.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Chairman R K Tyagi said the production activities at the company’s Light Combat Aircraft (Production Group) unit are pacing ahead as per the plan. “The project progress is being monitored on a daily basis now. We have completed the wings of the first series production (SP-1) aircraft and it has come out with nil deviations,” Tyagi said.
The HAL is mandated to deliver SP-1 in the next three months.
In the FOC phase so far, the aircraft engine was switched on using a jet fuel starter three consecutive times (three times in a row), as mandated by the Indian Air Force. A rainproof test was done on the limited series production (LSP-7) aircraft.