New Delhi: In a key step towards attaining
final operational clearance (FOC) from the IAF, the Light
Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is undergoing weapons trials,
including firing air-to-air missiles to test its capability to
bring down enemy planes.
As part of its first phase trials to fire bombs and
missiles, Tejas underwent tests of its aerial skills a few
days ago at a Jaisalmer range in Rajasthan.
The tests will continue till the end of this month during
which the indigenously developed fighter plane will fire
laser-guided bombs. A series of tests will be held in
different conditions, DRDO officials said here today.
This is part of the development trials of the LCA Tejas
for the purpose of FOC. More such trials will take place in
coming months, they said.
The aircraft was inducted into the IAF in the Initial
Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration in January this
Following the successful trials and necessary changes in
its configuration, LCA Tejas is expected to get the FOC by Dec
Before attaining the FOC, the aircraft will be subjected
to intensive weapons trials at several locations, including
mountainous regions of Leh.
By 2014, a total of seven squadrons (over 120 aircraft) of
the advanced version of the fighter aircraft, LCA MK-II with
upgraded system and capabilities would be inducted into the
As part of its plans, IAF will rely on a mix of the Su-30
MKI, 126 Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) and the
indigenous LCA as its combat assets by the end of this decade.