BENGALURU: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was in Bengaluru on Saturday, handed over the first Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), to the Indian Air Force. This will lead to its induction and formation of the first LCA squadron in the Air Force.
He called upon defence agencies to think “out of the box” to meet rising challenges by applying the right management tools. “Though one cannot achieve anything overnight, thrust must be provided to research and development by exploiting the current knowledge database — something organisations like the HAL already possess. By modifying our work culture and adopting better technological tools, we can achieve better results,” he said.
On the occasion, Parrikar witnessed the flying display of HAL’s products — Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter, Rudra (weaponised version of the Dhruv — Advanced Light Helicopter) and the Hawk trainer aircraft. Parrikar also visited the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML).
Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Arup Raha, who was present, said the induction of the Tejas aircraft was the need of the hour considering the operational needs of IAF. Complimenting HAL for handing over the aircraft, Raha said, “We are happy to receive the documents of the first series production of LCA. This will lead to its (Tejas) induction and the formation of the first LCA squadron.”
HAL chairman R K Tyagi described the event as one of the major milestones in HAL’s history.
“We have achieved 60 per cent indigenisation in this LCA project so far. We will produce six aircraft next year (2015-16) and subsequently scale it up to eight and 16 aircraft a year,” he added.
In the design and development programme, HAL has produced 15 LCA aircraft, including seven in Limited Series Production (LSP), two technology demonstrators, three fighter prototypes, two trainer prototype and one naval prototype.
These aircraft have completed more than 2,800 flights.
Parrikar Rolls Out Metro Coach
Parrikar visited BEML, where he rolled out the 750th Metro coach for the Delhi Metro Corporation. He also witnessed the demonstration of BEML’s products.