Aircraft Tejas is all set to get the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC II) on Friday that would pave the way for its IAF induction.
Around 14 aircraft have been created by Hindustan Aeronautics limited which can travel upto 2,500 hours.
“Tejas was the best aircraft in the LCA category. Apart from being the lightest, with a gross weight of just about 9 tons, it was also the most cost effective as its price ranged from between Rs 170 and Rs 180 crore, which was almost a third of similar fourth generation aircraft.” Director General Aeronautics and Chief Executive of CEMILAC Dr. K. Tamil Mani said to The Hindu.
He further added “the aircraft is capable of carrying nearly three tons of weapon systems, including laser guided and 500 kg bombs, has a top speed of 1,350 km per hour, capability of withstanding 7 G gravitational force and a 400-500 km radius of operation. However, before it is inducted, the Air Force wants the aircraft to improve its angle of attack from 24 degrees to 28 degrees, possess capability for refueling in air and to possess modern missile systems.”
Aircraft Tejas is made up of composite materials which have the capability to weigh less than a fifth of metal. This will protect aircraft from scratch.
“The LCA project has been build up at a cost of nearly Rs 10,000 crore. The aircraft are likely to go into series production and be inducted into the Air Force in the first half of 2014”, Dr. Mani said.
By 2016, the IAF is expected to elevate up its first squadron of Tejas LCA aircraft.
“Tejas is a technology demonstrator for the nation and has even showed the country’s resilience in standing up to the challenges of denial of technology, as was experienced when the United States had banned the supply of critical flight control equipment in the wake of the Pokharan nuclear tests,” said Technology Director of Aeronautical Development Agency, V. Subbu Rao.
“Entire design and concept is ours and the Mach 1 LCA is better than its contemporaries such as Mirage 2000, F-16 and Gripen.” Mr. Rao, who has been associated with the project for 26 years, said.
He further added, “We are now in a better position to develop the fifth generation fighter aircraft, which come with stealth technology and super cruise, as also the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, which is at an advanced design stage.