New Delh: The government on Tuesday said all trials are progressing well towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of the delayed indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
The ambitious project of developing Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is running behind schedule, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
He said that more than 2,700 flight tests have been completed utilizing 13 Tejas.
The Minister added that the expenditure incurred for LCA (Air Force Mk-I) Programme, that is Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) Phase?I and Phase?II till October 31 was Rs 7,399.69 crore.
"All trials are progressing well towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas," he said.
Initial Operational Clearance II (IOC-II) for Tejas Aircraft Air Force version was obtained on December 20 last year.
On March 31, 2006, Indian Air Force had executed a contract with HAL for production of 20 Tejas aircraft SP powered by GE-F404-IN20 engines in IOC configuration and production activities are in progress.
Defence Acquisition Council has cleared for 20 more aircraft in FOC configuration.
The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Programme is the biggest project on which Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working.
The project, since its inception in 1983, has faced many challenges, largely because of sanctions following nuclear test in 1998 by India and the fact that this is India's first attempt to make a combat aircraft.