Light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas took a significant step towards induction into the Indian Air Force on Friday afternoon.
The third Tejas aircraft in the limited series production (LSP)-3 took to the skies carrying almost the complete and final configuration in terms of equipment fit, making it the first flight of a near-complete LCA.
The equipment included new air-data computers, multi-mode radar (MMR), new communication and navigation apparatus and a radar warning receiver.
The aircraft took off from the HAL airport in Bangalore and all objectives of the flight were met within 52 minutes, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) said. ADA is the designer and developer of Tejas.
This is the first time that a Tejas aircraft in the LSP line-up carried the MMR.
“This is the culmination of the efforts of the Tejas team comprising members from HAL, IAF, the centre for military airworthiness and certification, directorate general of air quality assurance, the various DRDO labs and public sector undertakings,” ADA director PS Subramanyam said.
ADA scientists said with the successful Friday flight of LSP-3, Tejas was very close to initial operations clearance, which is to be completed by December 2010.