India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme has achieved another milestone by completing 4000 successful test flights on June 19, 2018.
According to the official statement, all the flight tests and aircraft instrumentation related activities are planned, coordinated and executed by the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) in Bengaluru.
NFTC has experienced Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN) test pilots and flight test engineers along with the scientists and engineers for telemetering the regular test flying activities in real time in an extremely controlled environment.
LCA Tejas, together with its variants, is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class.
This single engine, compound-delta-wing, tailless aircraft is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD), to meet diverse needs of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. It was developed under the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing Soviet-made Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighter interceptors.
The aircraft is being built by the state-owned aerospace major, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The other partners of the project are Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).
The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) after the HAL HF-24 Marut. It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system, multi-mode radar (MMR), integrated digital avionics system, composite material structures, and a flat rated engine.
The Tejas entered service with the IAF’s No. 45 Squadron IAF (Flying Daggers) based at the Yelahanka Air Base at Bangalore on 1 July 2016 before being moved to Sulur Air Force Station in Coimbatore. In June 2017, Hindustan Aeronautics stated that it expects to have delivered 123 Tejas aircraft to the Indian Air Force by 2024–25.