Indian fighter jet Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has received a green light for production via a limited’ clearance from Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), which will pave the way for its production in a superior lethal version, reports The Hindu.
The LCA is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in Bengaluru. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has asked HAL to manufacture 40 LCA aircraft. Of these, 20 will be in the advanced ‘final operational clearance’ (FOC) format while another 20 in the earlier initial operational clearance (IOC) version.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) aims to get the first LCA out in late 2019 in the just-cleared standard, according to its Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan.
“We have received drawings and documents related to this standard. We can now start activities such as planning, procurement of parts from vendors. We aim to deliver the first aircraft [in the cleared standard] in October or November 2019,” Madhavan said.
The FOC tag signals that the LCA is equipped and fit for battle. It will have additional features over the IOC version manufactured in December 2013.
The last two deadlines for FOC-compliance (June-end and December-end of 2018) were missed by the LCA team. Further improvements are likely to follow in the ‘FOC-2’ phase.
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