Thirty-five years after the inception of India’s light combat aircraft programme, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has finally frozen the design of the Tejas Mark I defence fighter with aircraft drawings submitted on December 31 and the certificate of combat readiness obtained from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) under the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
In an interview, Girish Deodhare, director, combat aircraft and ADA, said that the first Tejas in the final operational configuration (FOC) will be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in September with another 15 fighters to be delivered in the following 20 months. The deliveries will be much faster with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) deciding to outsource aircraft sub-assemblies to private companies such as Larsen & Toubro.
The FOC Tejas will have air-to-air refueling capability, beyond visual range Israeli Derby missiles, high angle attack expansion with a capability to match the best fighters in its light weight class in the 4 to 4.5 generation category. Read More