BENGALURU: The Indian Air Force (IAF) got its first twin-seater Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) here on Wednesday.
Terming the development a boost to self-reliance in the defence sector, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said, “The development of LCA Tejas has also brought about a shift in our approach to defence procurement. It has demonstrated that India has the talent, knowledge and capability to design, develop and manufacture world-class fighter jets.”
He said the LCA Tejas project has been an inspiring saga of relentless dedication and innovation. “The inception of LCA Tejas aircraft was rooted in the dream of equipping the Indian Air Force with a world-class indigenous fighter aircraft,” Bhatt said.
The development of Tejas spurred the growth of a robust defence and aerospace industry in India, besides creating opportunities for countless SMEs, research institutions, and skilled workers, who have contributed to various aspects of the project, he said.
IAF to get 97 more LCAs have 220 in inventory
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said the IAF will procure 97 more LCAs and with this, it will have 220 LCAs in its inventory.
CB Ananthakrishnan, CMD, HAL, said the company is committed to delivering all twin-seater aircraft pertaining to initial operational clearance (IOC) and final operational clearance (FOC) contracts to IAF in the current financial year. “With this, we are moving one step closer towards achieving self-sufficiency in the fixed-wing segment. These trainers also ensure a smooth transition for pilots from trainer to fighter aircraft in this class,” he added.
LCA Tejas twin-seater is a lightweight, all-weather multi-role 4.5 generation aircraft designed to support the training requirements of the IAF and augment itself to the role of a fighter in case of necessity, HAL stated.
“It is an amalgamation of contemporary concepts and technologies such as relaxed static-stability, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control, carefree manoeuvring, advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems and advanced composite material for the airframe. The production of the LCA twin-seater variant adds India to the list of very few elite countries that have created such a capability and have them operational in their defence forces,” a press release said. It is another feather in the cap of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the Union Government, the release said.