India’s Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, handed over to Indian Air Force by Defence Minister A K Antony after Initial Operational Clearance in Bangalore. This catapults India to a select club of nations that built a fighter plane from scratch.
After giving Clearance to the first squadron of Tejas, Mr. Antony said that this is a momentous occasion for India to build its own multi-role combat aircraft.
Thanking the entire Tejas team and other agencies for the success of the project, the Defence Minister said that 20 Tejas aircraft will be inducted into Air Force by the end of this year.
He said, the military aviation project has been given a major thrust in the recent past as the country is gearing up to build the 5th generation fighter aircraft and modern transport planes.
Mr. Antony said, most modern equipment will be provided to the Defence forces at the earliest as our aim is to achieve self reliance in the field of cutting edge technology.
In his remarks, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said that operational clearance for Tejas is a historic moment for aviation industry and is a major stride in realising the goal of self reliance in aviation technology.
AIR Correspondent reports that HAL will continue to upgrade the indigenous fighter as the Indian Air Force plans to induct close to 200 LCAs and 20 twin seater trainer versions in the long run. The historic first squadron will be stationed at Sulur near Coimbatore.
The second LCA squadron will be stationed at Kayathir near Tuticorin, where the IAF is developing a new fighter base. The mark II version of the LCA with a more powerful engine, better aerodynamics and advance avionics is also under development. The naval version of the LCA, to be used in aircraft carriers, is also under development.
[ppgallery id=”14″ showmax=”12″]