HAL Conducts First Flight for FOC of LCA Tejas

Defence Industry

New Delhi: In a major development for the indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on March 17 conducted first flight for final operational clearance (FOC) standard (SP-21) variant of the fighter jet.

The test flight was conducted for 40 minutes. The flight, piloted by Air Cmde KA Muthana (Retd), took-off from HAL Airport in Bengaluru at around 1230 hours.

The FOC-standard Tejas is equipped with several advanced features such as Air-to-Air refueling, Beyond Visual Range missile system. It has a lot of manufacturing improvements which were based on the operational feedback of initial LCA fleet with IAF.

This would pave way for production of remaining 15 fighters from the FOC block, which are planned to be delivered during the next financial year.

This signifies exemplary team work between various stakeholders of the LCA Tejas programme such as HAL, Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification, Indian Air Force and Aeronautical Development Agency, HAL CMD, R Madhavan said.

“HAL achieved the momentous feat within a record time of 12 months after release of Drawing Applicability List (DAL) and SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) by CEMILAC”, the statement said.

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