The first of the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Series Production-1 (SP1) was handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 17 January 2015. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar handed over Tejas to IAF in the presence of Air Chief Marshal Anup Raha at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bengaluru.
LCA Tejas was handed over to the Air Force after Initial Operational Clearance-II, which signifies that the aircraft is irworthy in different conditions. It received its Initial Operational Clearance-I in January 2011, after being built by state-owned HAL. It is expected that the aircraft will receive its Final Operational Clearance by December 2015.
Characteristics of Tejas
• Tejas is a Light Combat Aircraft that uses fourth generation technologies
• It is built from CFC materials and has unstable aerodynamics
• It is equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system to ease handling by the pilot
• It incorporates an advanced glass cockpit that comprises all the round dialed electro-mechanical instruments
• It is fitted with the coherent pulse-Doppler Multi Mode Radar that is designed to operate equally effectively in the Air to Air and Air to Surface domains.
• It is fitted with Open Architecture Computer (OAC)
LCA Tejas is a lightweight multi-role jet fighter developed by India under a project that commenced in 1983 and had cost 17000 crore rupees to the exchequer. It is a tailless, compound delta wing design powered by a single engine. It came from the LCA programme that was initiated to replace the ageing MiG-21 fighters in Indian Air Force’s combat.
Timeline of LCA Project
• LCA project was approved with an initial budget of 560 crore rupees in August 1983
• Its first fighter prototype flew in January 2001
• It received initial operational clearance (IOC) in December 2013
• 1st fighter (in IOC configuration) was handed over in January 2015
• It will receive Final Operational Clearance (FOC) in December 2015
• 20 jets will be delivered for 1st IOC squadron by 2017-18
• 2nd squadron with 20 Tejas in FOC configuration will be created after 2018
• IAF will begin 80 Tejas Mark-II inductions for 4 squadrons by 2021-2022
When: 17 January 2015