Friday, October 16, 2009

Test flight of Tejas a success

Continuing its quest for achieving initial operational capability by 2010-end, a pair of the indigenously built ‘Tejas’ light combat aircraft (LCA) successfully operated for five weeks from an IAF airbase in the South Western Air Command area. This was the first time the single-seat fighters operated away from their Bangalore home base for so long.

Two prototypes took part in the trials - prototype vehicle-3 (PV3) and limited series production-2 (LSP-2). 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. The aircraft successfully demonstrated its ability to tackle targets that were spotted visually by the pilot.

In the next phase the Tejas will take on targets whose parameters in terms of location and altitude are fed to the onboard navigation and attack computer. The target does not have to be visible to the pilot at the point of delivery of a weapon.

The 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. Support provided by personnel of the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd - Tejas’ manufacturer - ensured this homegrown fighter aircraft was able to take to the skies regularly. The IAF teams working at the Aeronautical Development Agency and the air base where the trials were conducted also significantly contributed to the success of the trial.

Last March the Tejas underwent extensive weapon tests, focusing on safe separation and accuracy of weapon delivery, at an IAF base in the northwestern sector. The results validated the aircraft’s aerodynamic interference data as well as weapon release algorithms in different modes of release.

Limited series production of the Tejas, expected to get the IAF’s clearance sometime next year, commenced in 2007.


testing, testing that all we hear about a so called indigenous program. the program which has gone for over 25 years, it would have been cheaper if we had imported some comparable fighter.the chinese jf-17 fight testing was started in 2003 and was inducted in 2007 in pakistan air force and the program took a fraction of cost of LCA and is cheaper per unit cost than LCA.and last but not the least is totally independent of US equipment.

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