From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Oct 4: HAL handed over the first LCA Tejas twin seater to the Indian Air Force in the presence of Union Defence Minister Ajay Bhatt on Wednesday, October 4.
It is a huge boost to self-reliance, said the minister in his address to the packed audience.
“I am proud to be part of this historic occasion and salute the spirit of HAL which has been spearheading Swadeshi manufacturing in defence”, he said. He unveiled the twin seater LCA,’’ he said.
The minister said: “In all, the development of LCA Tejas has also brought about a shift in our approach to defence procurement. It has demonstrated that India has the talent, knowledge and capability to design, develop and manufacture world-class fighters.’’
Speaking on the occasion, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said that IAF would be going forward to procure 97 more LCAs and with this it will have 220 LCAs in its inventory.
C B Ananthakrishnan, CMD (Addl. Charge), HAL said that the company is committed to deliver all the twin seater aircraft pertaining to IOC and FOC contract to IAF in the current financial year.
With this, we are moving one step closer towards achieving self-sufficiency on the fixed wing segment. These trainers also ensure smooth transition for the pilots from trainer to fighter aircraft in this class, he added.
The event was attendced by Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, C B Ananthakrishnan, HAL CMD (Addl. Charge), Girish S Deodhare, Director General, ADA, A P V S Prasad, CE (A), CEMILAC, officials from IAF, MoD, DGAQA, DRDO, HAL and production partners.
The Release to Service Document (RSD) and the Signalling out Certificate (SOC) were also handed over during the event.
The LCA Tejas Twin Seater is a light weight, all weather multi-role 4.5 generation aircraft. It is designed to support the training requirements of the IAF and augment itself to the role of a fighter in case of necessity. It is an amalgamation of contemporary concepts and technologies such as relaxed static-stability, quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control, carefree manoeuvring, advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems and advanced composite materials for the airframe.
The production of the LCA twin seater variant adds India to the list of very few elite countries who have created such a capability and have them operational in their Defence Forces, another feather in the cap of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative of Govt of India.