India's Tejas Begins Milestone Clearance Week

BANGALORE: I was in Bangalore in January 2011 when the Indian Air Force grudgingly accepted a milestone in the indigenous LCA Tejas programme. What was supposed to have been initial operational clearance (IOC), had to be staggered, with an agonising three-year wait before the platform would achieve IOC-2 (test points the platform failed to achieve by IOC-1 in Jan 2011), completing the protracted IOC exercise. The ceremony, as reported here on Livefist before, will be on December 20.

I happen to be back in Bangalore now, but on holiday. If I can tear myself away from family (and I can't), I'll attend the short preview event for the Tejas here in the city on December 19, where the Tejas test team and others will be present -- more details should be available there about what test points the team is postponing to the FOC regime. What we do know is that there are certain performance requirements that will be shifted to the FOC schedule. I will be leaving Bangalore on the day of the IOC-2 ceremony on December 20, but will bring you preview material here over the next one week. Nervous time for the team and the air force. Let's hope it isn't a re-run of January 2011. The Tejas deserves better.

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