In its path towards Initial Operational Capability (IOC), a pair of LCA Tejas fighters -- Prototype Vehicle-3 (PV3) and Limited Series Production-2 (LSP-2) -- were recently deployed to Jamnagar for a period of five weeks for testing by the South Western Air Command (SWAC). The trials entailed flight envelope expansion in various stores configurations, as well as air-to-ground weapon delivery trials in different modes of weapon delivery. According to a DRDO statement, "The aircraft has successfully demonstrated its ability to tackle targets which are designated visually by the pilot. After this phase, the Tejas will be able to take on targets whose parameters in terms of location and altitude are fed to the on-board navigation and attack computer. The target does not even have to be visible to the pilot at the point of delivery."
The flight trials were conducted by the flight test crew of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), who deployed test pilots, flight test engineers and instrumentation specialists for the task. This is the first time that the Tejas aircraft have operated away from home base for so long. The support provided by the personnel of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) the manufacturers of the aircraft, ensured that this indigenous fighter aircraft was able to take to the skies regularly. The Tejas team included specialist groups from Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Central for Military Air Worthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) and DG-AQA.
The Indian Air Force teams working at ADA and the Air Force base where the trials were conducted have contributed significantly for the success of the trial. The excellent weather conditions prevailing in the Saurashtra sector and the enthusiastic support of the Indian Air Force ensured the successful completion of the current phase of flight trials. With this milestone achieved, the entire Tejas team is upbeat and the Tejas is one step closer to induction into the Indian Air Force.
Text Abridged from DRDO Statement
Photos Courtesy DRDO
Labels: AIR FORCE, Aircraft And Helicopters, DRDO, EQUIPMENT TRIALS, HAL, Indigenous Equipment, LCA Tejas, Photographs, Weapons