The Indian Air Force (IAF) strengthened its arsenal with the arrival of the inaugural Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas twin-seater trainer aircraft.
A handover ceremony took place in Bengaluru, where Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, the IAF chief, accepted the aircraft from manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
“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 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 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 IAF chief said.
HAL, on its part, confirmed that it has an order for 18 twin-seater LCA Tejas aircraft from the IAF. They are scheduled to deliver eight of these twin-seaters during the fiscal year 2023-24, with the remaining 10 expected to be progressively delivered by 2026-27. Moreover, the company anticipates more orders from the IAF in the future.
The LCA Tejas, a 4.5 generation multi-role fighter aircraft designed for offensive air support, close combat, ground attack, and ground maritime operations. The LCA Mk1A version, the most advanced Tejas version, 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.
HAL stated that the LCA Tejas twin-seater represents a fusion of modern ideas and technologies, encompassing elements like relaxed static stability, quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control, effortless maneuvering, an advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems, and composite materials in its airframe.