First Tejas flight successful

New Delhi:The state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducted the maiden flight of the Tejas Mk1A light combat aircraft on Thursday. This advanced version of the LCA Mk-1, already in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF), is a significant milestone for the HAL.

HAL announced that the Tejas Mk1A's successful first flight, undertaken by Aircraft LA5033, took off from their facility in Bengaluru and lasted 18 minutes. Chief Test Pilot, Gp Capt K.K. Venugopal (retd), piloted the aircraft.

The Tejas Mk1A boasts enhanced electronic RADAR, warfare, communication systems, additional combat capability, and improved maintenance features. Despite facing global supply chain challenges, HAL managed concurrent design and development to meet production milestones, said HAL chairman and managing director C.B. Ananthakrishnan.

The IAF had ordered 83 LCA Mark1A fighter planes in 2021, with deliveries initially scheduled for February-March 2024. However, delays are anticipated. Moreover, the Defence Acquisition Council approved the acquisition of an additional 97 Tejas Mark 1A aircraft, bringing the total to 180, indicating the aircraft's crucial role in the Indian Air Force's future fleet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier flew on a Tejas fighter aircraft during his visit to HAL in Bengaluru last year. Named Tejas in 2003, the aircraft fulfils various roles, including air defence, maritime reconnaissance, and strike missions. With two operational IAF squadrons currently in service, the Tejas remains a cornerstone of India's indigenous defence capabilities.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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