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HAL-produced Final Operational Clearance standard LCAs join IAF stable

Four more FOC-LCAs are in the advanced stages of production and testing, and are expected to join the squadron soon.

Published: 28th May 2020 06:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2020 06:21 AM   |  A+A-

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria gets down after flying the LCA Tejas MK-1 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) fighter aircraft at Sulur Air Force Station in Coimbatore on Wednesday | U RAKESH KUMAR

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The HAL produced Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas on Wednesday was inducted into the IAF Squadron ‘The Flying Bullets’ at a function in Sulur (Tamil Nadu), marking another milestone for HAL. The FOC variant will reduce the maintenance man-hours and turn-around time resulting in enhanced support for IAF missions.

Four more FOC-LCAs are in the advanced stages of production and testing, and are expected to join the squadron soon. HAL commenced the training for both air crew as well as maintenance crew for FOC aircraft and the first batch of trained air warriors are already with the 18 Squadron.

“We are proud to deliver a lethal aircraft than the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) block. Apart from all the capabilities of IOC aircraft, the FOC variant additionally comes with air-to-air refuelling capability, close combat gun, additional drop tanks, BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile capability, updated avionics and flight control software suite,” R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, said.

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