Paving way for the production of the remaining 15 fighter aircraft from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the maiden flight of the standard (SP-21) variant of the indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas took place successfully in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
HAL said in a statement, “Piloted by Air Cmde. K.A Muthana(Retd), Chief Test Flying (Fixed Wing), the aircraft took-off from HAL Airport at around 1230 hours. It was airborne for 40 minutes.”
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The final operational clearance (FOC) aircraft are equipped with advanced features such as Air-to-Air refueling, and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile system among special features. “It imbibes a lot of manufacturing improvements which were based on the operational feedback of LCA IOC fleet with IAF,” HAL officials added.
According to HAL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) R Madhavan, the maiden flight signified “exemplary teamwork between various stakeholders of the LCA Tejas programme such as HAL, Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification, Indian Air Force and Aeronautical Development Agency.”
Earlier in January, the naval version of the aircraft had made its first landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
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