Bangalore: The indigenous Light Combat
Aircraft `Tejas` will be inducted into the Indian Air Force by
2012 and its advanced version will be ready for operational
service by the end of 2015.
"LCA Tejas Mk-I would be ready for induction by 2012. The
LCA Mk-II would take another three years and would be inducted
by 2015," Defence Minister A K Antony told reporters here
Last month, the Tejas had moved a step closer to its
induction after it was granted the Initial Operational
Clearance (IOC) by the Indian Air Force.
Asked about the possible induction date of the Fifth
Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), Antony said, "All the
difficulties related to the aircraft were over and the
preliminary design Contract has also been signed. We hope it
will be inducted by 2017."
Dismissing reports about US offer to India for joining
the American fifth generation fighter aircraft programme, the
Defence Minister said a decision in this regard has already
been taken and there was no question on going back on the deal
with Russia in this regard.
"No other country has offered to work with us for jointly
developing a fifth generation fighter aircraft," he added.
On comparison between the Chinese and Indian fifth
generation fighters, Antony said the Indian FGFA was the best
aircraft in the world to meet the requirements of the
country`s armed forces.
On the programme to jointly develop a multirole transport
aircraft with Russia, he said the programme was cleared four
years ago by the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) and all
formalities in this regard have been completed.