2019 has arrived with a piece of good news—a nod for the production of the FOC version of India’s first homemade Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas. The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), creators of Tejas, has been given permission to manufacture Tejas Mk1 FOC . The Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) has accepted the design documents submitted by the ADA. CEMILAC is a DRDO laboratory authorised to certify military aircraft and airborne systems. ADA is responsible for the design and development of Tejas, but the production will be done by the public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
HAL—manufacturer of the aircraft—can go ahead with its production of the FOC version of Tejas Mk1. HAL has been ordered to produce 20 aircrafts under the Mk-1 category, with Final Operational Clearance (FOC). IAF has given an order of equal number of Tejas aircraft of the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration. IAF has already received 10 of IOC configuration, and the rest are in production . Insiders claim that an official announcement is expected on January 4, the day of Tejas’ first test flight in 2001. In September last, the mid-air refuelling of the ‘wet contact’ trial for Tejas Mk-1 was successfully conducted on an IAF base, along with gun firing.
In December 2017, the IAF had placed order for 83 Tejas aircrafts with HAL. Of these, 73 will be the upgraded version called the ‘Mark-1A’ and the remaining 10 will be its trainer version. The IAF order will be as per required specifications, approved as per the existing FOC.
Source : The Week
Image credits – Angad Singh / Zone 5 Aviation