The Indian Air Force is all set to receive its first-ever twin-seater Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) as the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) prepares to hand over the aircraft to the IAF in Bengaluru on October 4.
This momentous occasion was graced by the Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari at HAL's LCA Tejas division plant.
The LCA Tejas, which had its inaugural flight in 2001, is a testament to India's advanced aerospace capabilities and aligns with the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" vision, positioning India among an elite group of nations with such indigenous aeronautic prowess.
The unveiling was not just ceremonial as it involved the presentation of the Release to Service (RSD) and the Signalling Out Certificate (SOC), witnessed by luminaries from the Indian defence sector.
The twin-seater LCA boasts state-of-the-art design and technology, embodying 4.5 generation aircraft capabilities with features such as relaxed static stability, advanced glass cockpit, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control, and the use of advanced composite materials. Its carefree manoeuvring and integrated digital avionics systems further underline its avant-garde attributes.
With orders for 18 twin-seaters from the IAF, HAL plans to deliver eight of them in FY 2023-24, and the remainder by 2026-27.
The LCA Tejas is designed to facilitate the transition of emerging pilots to fighter pilots, bridging the training and operational divide. Two squadrons are already stationed at the Sulur Air Force base, and the aim is to complete deliveries by 2027-28, making it the future backbone of the IAF fleet.