The first squadron of indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) will be delivered by 2017-18,a Defence ministry official told.
- The first squadron will have around 18 fighter jets.
- The full combat operational clearance for the Tejas is expected by December 2015, almost 15 years after its first test flight.
- Efforts are underway to enhance the production capability.
- A report of the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) tabled in the just-concluded budget session of parliament said that due to the delay in the manufacture and supply of the LCA, the IAF forced force to take alternative and temporary measures.
Tejas Fighter Jets :
- An Indian single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role light fighter.
- Developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
- It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme.
- LCA was officially named “Tejas”,meaning “Radiant” by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- It is supersonic and highly manoeuvrable.
- It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary combat aircraft.
- 1980s : LCA programme began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
- 2011 : The Tejas was cleared in January 2011 for use by Indian Air Force pilots.
- 2013 : It received the second of three levels of operational clearance on 20 December 2013.
- 2015 : On 17 January 2015, the first Tejas LCA was officially inducted into the IAF.
- 2018 : The first Tejas squadron, to be based at Bengaluru, is scheduled to enter service by 2018
Planned production variants :
- Tejas Trainer : Two-seat operational conversion trainer for the Indian Air Force.
- Tejas Navy : Twin- and single-seat carrier-capable variants for the Indian Navy.
- Tejas Mark 2
- Tejas Mark 3
About Hindustan Aeronautics :
- An Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company.
- Primarily involved in the operations of the aerospace industry.
- Headquarters : Bangalore.
- It is governed under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence.
- Chairman : T Suvarna Raju.
- Slogan : “Asia’s Premier Aerospace Complex”