Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari received the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas twin-seater trainer aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chief Managing Director CB Ananthakrishnan in Bengaluru on Wednesday. “Today is a momentous day and a matter of pride for me to accept the first two-seater LCA aircraft. This day will go down in history as a really remarkable one that exemplifies the prowess of the Indian domestic aviation industry,” Chaudhari said speaking at the ceremony in Bengaluru. The Air Force chief said that two LCA squadrons have already been set up and a contract has been signed for 83 additional LCAs.
HAL Hands Over LCA Tejas Twin Seater to IAF in Presence of RRM @SpokespersonMoD @giridhararamane @DefProdnIndia @gopalsutar@IAF_MCC @AjaybhattBJP4UK pic.twitter.com/32cZoo8RNL
— HAL (@HALHQBLR) October 4, 2023
“It is a matter of pride for us, in the Indian Air Force having set up two LCA squadrons already. We have now signed a contract for 83 additional LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) and we are moving forward to procuring 97 more LCAs. In the coming years, we will have a fleet of 220 LCAs in the inventory of the Indian Air Force,” the Indian Air Force chief said.
“I once again wish each one of you the very best to ensure that we in the Indian Air Force receive our orders on time and start flying them in a good period of time. My compliments to all the stakeholders and best wishes to all of you for a bright and successful future,” he added congratulating the aviation industry.
Speaking at the event Minister of State Defence Ajay Bhatt said, “Today is a historic day. I am very proud to be in HAL and to witness all agreements done here. We have handed over the first LCA twin-seater to IAF.”
On the Atmanirbhar push in the field of Indian aviation, Bhatt said, “Some years ago we were dependent on other countries for fighter jets. PM Modi wants India to do better in all fields. We are getting Atmanirbhar.”
The HAL handed over the first Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) twin-seater trainer version aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
HAL has an order of 18 twin seater from IAF and is planning to deliver eight twin seater in FY 2023-24. Further, 10 twin seaters would be delivered progressively by 2026-27. Further orders are also expected from IAF.
LCA-Tejas is the largest R-D program ever undertaken in India making its maiden flight in 2001 and has achieved various milestones since then. It is going to be the backbone of the IAF fleet in years to come and is slated to be produced in high numbers by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru, as HAL has already received an order of 123 aircraft out of which 32 fighters have been supplied to IAF and two squadrons already operational with Indian Air Force (IAF) at Sulur, AF base.
LCA Tejas is a 4.5 generation, all weather and multi-role fighter aircraft. The aircraft is designed to be a multi-role aircraft capable of taking up offensive air support, close combat and ground attack role at ease. It is also designed to undertake Ground Maritime Operations.
LCA Mk1A is the most advanced version of the LCA Tejas. It is equipped with AESA Radar, EW suite consisting of radar warning and self-protection jamming, Digital Map Generator (DMG), Smart Multi-function Displays (SMFD), Combined Interrogator and Transponder (CIT), Advanced Radio Altimeter and other features.