Bengaluru: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has met the target for roll out of 16th ‘Tejas’ Light Combat Aircraft before March 31, 2019, and a day ahead of two of these jets making a debut at the Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace Expo (LIMA-2019) in Malaysia.
This made-in-India combat jet was inducted into No 45 squadron ‘Flying Daggers’ on July 1, 2016, and received the Final Operational Clearance (FOC), marking its combat readiness. HAL has an order for 40 ‘Tejas’ jets (16 each in IOC and FOC configuration and eight trainer aircraft).
According to a media release of HAL, production of ‘Tejas’ commenced in 2014 with a current production capacity of eight aircraft a year. The second production line has been established at Aircraft Division (Bangalore Complex), which is carrying out structural assembly, final assembly and equipping of the aircraft.
Recently, HAL received drawings and documents related to FOC with limited clearance for LCA (Tejas) from CEMILAC and ADA. With this, HAL would be able to commence work on productionisation of FOC standard fighter aircraft. The first aircraft in FOC configuration could roll-out by the end of this year.
The release said ‘Tejas’ demonstrated its combat capability in the IAF’s ‘Gagan Shakti’ exercise by firing the Air-to-Air BVR (Beyond Visual Range) ‘Derby’ missile....