Bengaluru: The induction and operationalization of indigenous fighter jet Light Combat Aircraft Tejas received a major boost with Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Air Command, undertaking a solo flight for 30 minutes from the HAL Airport in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL thanked the AOC-in-C for reposing faith on the advanced and indigenous combat aircraft.
HAL has established the state-of-the-art aircraft assembly line including second production line for LCA to meet the operational requirements of the IAF. Currently, HAL has the production capacity of eight LCAs per annum and is ramping up the capacity to 16. The ramping-up cost is shared equally by HAL and IAF/Navy, according to an official statement issued here.
Major sub-assembly such as front, centre and rear fuselages and wings have been outsourced to the private players. The 45 Squadron of the IAF “The Flying Daggers” was the first squadron to be equipped with LCA-Tejas in July last year. The Squadron, on Tueday, hosted the Air Marshal Bhadauria, who has been associated with the Tejas programme for long, the statement said.
The Squadron, which is expected to move to its permanent location at Sulur, near Coimbatore next year is presently involved in training of Air and Ground Crew, formulation of procedures and realization of the operational potential of the aircraft. Apart from the participation in the Republic Day and Air Force Day fly-pasts, the squadron has also undertaken detachments at operational bases to test the weapon capability of the aircraft.
With the induction of an additional assembly line, HAL is also set to ramp-up the production rate in order to meet the delivery schedules, the statement added.