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A red-letter day for Tejas programme

Special Correspondent
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The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will be given Initial Operational Clearance at a function in Bangalore on Monday.
The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will be given Initial Operational Clearance at a function in Bangalore on Monday.

The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will be given Initial Operational Clearance at a function in the city on Monday.

“This occasion marks a very important achievement in the design and development of Tejas, in particular, and the evolution of military aviation in the country in general,” said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesperson.

The Initial Operational Clearance comes ahead of the Final Operational Clearance, which paves the way for production of the aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), the DRDO spokesperson told The Hindu.

Orders for 40 aircraft

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had already placed orders for 40 Tejas aircraft. After this, the Tejas aircraft would be available for use by IAF pilots, the spokesperson added.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony is scheduled to hand over a formal Release to Service Certificate of Tejas aircraft to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshall P.V. Naik. “This is the first time an indigenously designed and developed military fighter aircraft is being certified for Air Force operations,” a DRDO statement said.

The Release to Service certificate has been prepared after thoroughly scrutinising the entire design, development, equipment testing and flight testing results of all the systems of Tejas over the last several months.

“Today, the programme has reached the stage of demonstrating the integration of all the required sensors and weapons, as well as safe and reliable flying within the specified flight envelope,” the DRDO said.

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